BHUBANESWAR: The enforcement directorate (ED) is planning to re-attach the Seashore Group's properties, which were earlier seized by the Crime Branch.
The economic offence wing of the Crime Branch had on November 11, 2013 moved the state finance department to attach the sealed assets of the company, which would run into more than Rs 200 crore.
"We are contemplating to approach the state government to stop the process of attachment of the properties. Since we are investigating the money trail of the company, we may go for fresh attachment of assets" said an ED officer. At present, Seashore Group's CMD Prashant Dash is being interrogated by the ED.
The Crime Branch had identified over 156 acre land, seized 1.3 kg of gold, two quintal of silver, some luxury cars, sealed some industrial houses and buildings and froze Rs 2 crore-bank deposits of the Seashore Group.
Experts said if the ED attaches the assets, there is little chance of investors getting back the money. "ED's prevention of money laundering act (PMLA) 2002 is limited to attachment and confiscation of property. The confiscated assets will remain in the government treasury. This will not help the investors in any way," said lawyer Siddharth Das.
"However, the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Bill, 2011, has the provision of returning confiscated properties to duped investors. The bill not only entails confiscation and liquidation of assets, but also restitution of money to duped depositors," said Das.
While more than 6,50,000 people were duped of Rs 4,375 crore between January 2012 and June 2013, by several chit fund companies, the Seashore Group alone is accused of embezzling over Rs 1,500 crore deposits from thousands of people from across the state.
Established in 2005-06, Seashore conglomerate forayed into money circulation, real estate and gold trading among some other trades. The firm executed several projects in partnership with the state government, raising eyebrows about possible patronage by some ruling party politicians to the firm.
Dash, arrested from Mumbai on June 19, 2013, is still behind bars. About 37 cheating cases were registered against him by police in different districts.