04 October, New Delhi
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached immovable properties worth Rs 12.64 crore of Odisha based Artha Tatwa group and others in an ongoing money laundering case against the chit fund firm.
The properties attached had been transferred earlier from Artha Tatwa group companies and its employees Sambit Khuntia, Rahul Kanwal and Manindra Pramanik in the name of certain unrelated entities and individuals, an ED statement said.
“The attached properties include land and flat in Bhubaneswar and Balasore in Odisha.”
Movable and immovable properties worth Rs 120.55 crore held in the name of Artha Tatwa group and its associates are already under ED’s attachment. At present the total properties attached in this case are worth Rs 133.19 crore.
In this case, the mastermind Pradeep Kumar Sethy, who was recently sentenced seven-year imprisonment by a trial court in the chit fund scam in Odisha, collected money from the people promising high return and promoted various companies and co-operative societies for this purpose, it said, adding such huge deposit collected from people was subsequently laundered by investing in movable and immovable properties.
ED investigation revealed that the properties record in the matter were changed in the name of a religious institute by Sethy to escape attention and to a completely unrelated person who has no association with Artha Tatwa group.
The group, registered under the Companies Act and Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, collected money from small investors in Odisha with a promise of high returns ranging from 15 to 20 per cent.
Along with Sethy, 20 company employees were also arrested for their involvement in the chit fund scam.