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CBI files supplementary charge sheet in AT chitfund scam

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Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
The CBI on Thursday filed a supplementary charge sheet against three persons including former Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) secretary, Ashirbad Behera for their alleged association with a chitfund company accused of looting investors of crore of rupees.
The Central Bureau of Investigation filed the supplementary charge sheet in the designated court, Bhubaneswar against Behera, one Kamalakanta Das, a local hotel representative and Sambit Kumar Khuntia, a private person in the Artha Tatwa (AT) group chitfund scam, sources said.
On August 16, 2014, the CBI had raided the OCA office and Behera's residence. The CBI had also interrogated Behera five times suspecting his alleged links with the AT group. The investigating agency had also interrogated OCA staff in this regard.
"I am not aware about the charge sheet. I have all along cooperated with CBI. They had some questions which were replied in right prospective. Let us wait and see what allegations have been made," Behera told PTI.
However, Das and Khuntia were not immediately available for comment.
"The case has been filed under relevant sections of IPC and Prize Chits & Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 in an on-going investigation of a chitfund case," an official said.
Earlier, the CBI had registered the instant case against AT Group and others in compliance to the orders of the Supreme Court passed on May 9, 2014.
During course of further investigation, the charge sheet mentioned that it was alleged that the OCA through its the then secretary (Behera) and in criminal conspiracy with AT Group, promoted the chitfund firm so that the credibility of the companies rose in the eyes of public and more people invested in the different schemes floated by the AT group.
In lieu of the promotion, the charge sheet also mentioned that the OCA allegedly received about Rs one crore from the chitfund firm in the garb of sponsorship of the Odisha Ranjit Cricket Team and title sponsorship of Odisha Premier League, 2011.
It was also alleged that Kamalakanta Das, the representative of a hotel in criminal conspiracy with other co-accused private persons was actively involved in the misappropriation of the immovable properties of AT Group of Companies at Balasore and Bhubaneswar and became a partner to misappropriate the properties purchased out of the funds of the same group of companies.
In furtherance of the criminal conspiracy, the accused person allegedly misappropriated the sale proceeds of two immovable properties, it said.
Earlier, six charge sheets including four supplementary charge sheets have been filed by CBI against 33 accused persons including eight companies/firms of AT Group of Companies.
The CBI filed the charge sheet based on its findings of the investigation and evidence collected by the agency, the official added.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 9:05 PM IST

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