BHUBANESWAR: Cracking down on ponzy scheme companies, Odisha police said three more offices of Seashore Group were sealed and one of the directors of Artha Tatwa (AT) Group was arrested today, official sources said.
Both Seashore and Artha Tatwa groups have allegedly duped thousands of gullible investors across the state.
"We have taken Srikrushna Padhi into custody after his arrest. As per documents available with us, Padhi is member of the Board of Directors of AT Group," said DCP Nitinjit Singh.
Padhi is editor of an Odia newspaper besides being Odisha representative of a Hindi news channel, he said.
Earlier, the DCP had said that the police was investigating role of certain media persons and their links with the chitfund companies.
CMD of AT group Pradip Sethi and another director Jagabandhu Panda are in jail here after their arrest.
Sethi, during his arrest had claimed that he had bribed certain politicians including a minister, media persons and builders.
Three properties of Seashore Group in Angul were sealed, official sources said, adding the confiscated properties are the company's multipurpose co-operative society office, a workshop and an office of its real estate division.
The police have so far sealed six premises of Seashore Group including its headquarters, a dairy farm at Jagatpur, a mineral water bottling plant and two rice mills, besides seizing an SUV of the company and Rs 2 crore in bank deposits, the sources said.
Seashore Group which has spread its businesses into multiple sectors is believed to have mopped up several hundreds of crores rupees from the people.
Meanwhile, BJP alleged a "fixing" between Artha Tatwa Group and the ruling BJD and demanded polygraph test of Sethi.
"We suspect an unholy understanding between Sethi and the state government. The government will relax case against Sethi and in return the AT Group CMD is asked not to name any minister or BJD MLA," BJP state general secretary Suresh Pujari told reporters here.
He said Sethi before going to jail stated that he had bribed a minister, MLAs, a top leader, media persons and builders. However, the commissionrate of police which is probing the matter claimed that Sethi did not disclose name of any minister of MLAs.
Sethi, however, revealed names of certain media persons and builders, city DCP Nitinjit Singh had said.
Terming clean chit given by police to politicians in the illegal chitfund scam as unacceptable, Pujari said, "It appears a fixing between the ruling BJD and AT group CMD."
Alleging that senior government officers were also involved in chitfund scam and helping Sethi, Pujari said the AT Groups application for certain project had been approved on the day it was received. "AT group's application was approved by the office of the assistant registrar cooperative society," Pujari claimed.
Meanwhile, Congress has demanded a CBI probe into the chitfund scam or investigation under the supervision of Orissa High Court.