Bhubaneshwar: The CBI on Sunday arrested Durga Prasad Mishra, owner of a chit fund company and an Oriya TV channel MBC TV over a chit fund scam. He was absconding for the last nine months.
On November 30, the CBI had questioned senior IPS officer Rajesh Kumar in the Odisha chit fund scam. Rajesh Kumar was until recently probing the chit fund scam as the crime branch DIG before the probe was taken over by the CBI under direction from Supreme Court.
The probe against Rajesh is a huge embarrassment for the Naveen Patnaik government. Recently, BJD MP Pyarimohan Mahapatra and Chief Minister’s personal aide were quizzed in the chit fund scam. Opposition parties have also upped their ante and have been demanding Chief Minister’s resignation over the scam.
The CBI arrested the chief of Micro Finance Private Limited, one of the 44 chit fund groups under the agency’s scanner.
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said Durga Prasad Mishra was arrested nine months after he turned fugitive. Mishra, who headed 13 companies including Micro Finance Private Limited allegedly defrauded Rs 500 crore from the investors. The companies had businesses in health, media, chit fund, transport and mining sector.
Last week, CBI had raided Mishra’s residence in Bhubaneswar, but he reportedly escaped before the raid. On 16th October, CBI had taken one of the company’s directors Ashok Pattnaik on a nine-day remand.
Before the CBI took over, the state CID had lodged 13 cases against Mishra’s company in different districts and arrested 13 functionaries. The company had 420 branches across the state, many of which were sealed following police crackdown. The CID had frozen Rs 78 crore bank balance of Micro Finance, whose licence was cancelled by Reserve Bank of India in 2012.
Mishra is the fourth media house owner to be arrested in connection with the chit fund scam. Earlier Kamyab TV channel owner Manoj Das, Odisha Bhaskar owner and secretary of Press Club of Orissa Madhu Mohanty and Bikash Swain, publisher of Odia daily Suryaprava have been arrested by the agency over their links with the Artha Tatwa chit fund group. All of them were chargesheeted last week.