Bhubaneswar: The economic offences wing (EOW) of the state crime branch on Tuesday arrested the managing director of a chit fund company from Delhi on charges of duping investors of nearly Rs 5 crore. The accused was identified as Manoranjan Ray, 45.
The EOW squad arrested Ray from his residence at Safdarjung Enclave. Ray, who belongs to Khairagarh village in Jagatsinghpur district, is being brought to Odisha on a transit remand after being produced before the metropolitan magistrate in Saket court, South Delhi.
Ray was arrested on the basis of a cheating case registered against him on April 22, 2016. He was since on the run.
The EOW’s superintendent of police Awinash Kumar said Ray was managing director of Inter Ocean Group that owned four sister concerns — Inter Ocean Videsh Ltd, Inter Ocean Retail India Ltd, Alpine Fincorp Ltd and Inter Ocean Realcon Pvt Ltd.
“Ray’s main business was to illegally collect deposits from gullible investors by offering them hefty monthly and annual interests. We had in 2016 received a complaint against the company from Laxmi Narayan Mohapatra, a duped investor from Talcher. During investigation, we found that the dubious company collected nearly Rs 5 crore from thousands of people from across the state between 2010 and 2013,” Kumar said.
The EOW said the company that had opened its head office at Baramunda in Bhubaneswar had lured investors with the false promise of providing 20 per cent interest annually on deposits.
The EOW sources said nearly 30,000 investors had deposited money with a hope of getting hefty returns. The investigation agency said the company wound up its business and its officials absconded in January 2013.
After waiting for three years, the duped investors moved EOW in April 2016, seeking justice.
“We had made the first arrest in the case in May 2018. One of the directors of the company, Sunita Samal, was arrested. MD Ray had absconded. Complicity of others, if any, is being investigated,” another EOW officer said. The investigation agency said steps will be taken to attach the company’s assets.