Pradeep Sethy, CMD, Artha Tatwa Group
Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now trying to identify influential people, who have taken flats from the Artha Tatwa (AT) group.
The commissionerate police, which had probed the case before CBI took over the activities of the ponzy companies, had found as many as 158 flats, including 32 in Calcutta, in the group’s name.
But the commissionerate police did not ascertain the ownership and the current status of the flats for inexplicable reasons.
Sources said that some of these flats have already been completed, and some are under construction.
Chairman-cum-managing director of the group Pradeep Sethy had allegedly given some flats to influential persons to run his business, these sources said.
Sources said that the central agency was ascertaining the details of the property owned by the group in Calcutta.
“During the interrogation, Sethy had named some people who were the beneficiaries. We are verifying his statement,” said a CBI official.
These sources said that Sethy had gifted a number of flats in Bhubaneswar to his office staff, businessmen and influential persons.
The group owned more than 200 acres of land at several locations across the state, including Bhubaneswar. The property in the city is worth more than Rs 100 crore.
Sources said that the AT group of companies included an infrastructure firm that had invested big way in real estate. CBI so far has interrogated two builders for their alleged links with Sethy.
Today, a businessman and an office-bearer of the Football Association of Odisha, Sanjay Behera, were interrogated. Behera is the son Odisha Cricket Association secretary Ashirbad Behera.
In a related development, BJP senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra today said that Seashore group was another deposit company that was being probed by the CBI.
The group had formalised MoUs with the state government to promote tourism in the Mahanadi river in Cuttack, Attri hotspring near Khurda and a food park at Nabarangpur.
Pointing to a nexus between the ponzy firm and the government, Mohapatra said: “How did the government sign MoUs with such a company?”
“The government is heading towards bad days,” he said.