CBI arrests ex-OCA secretary in Odisha chit fund scam | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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BHUBANESWAR: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested Asirbad Behera, former secretary of Odisha cricket association (OCA), for his alleged involvement in Artha Tatwa (AT) Group chit fund scam. CBI had indicted him in a supplementary chargesheet on August 29. The probe agency also arrested Kamalakant Das, a hotelier in connection with the scam.
“CBI officials reached our residence in Cuttack early morning (Thursday) and arrested my father. They claimed to have got the arrest warrant against my father. We cooperated with the CBI. But it’s a conspiracy against us ahead of the OCA election,” Behera’s son Sanjay told journalists.
Though the CBI had interrogated Behera in 2014 and 2016 for his suspected involvement in the AT Group scam, he was not arrested then. “We found evidence of his link in AT Group scam. His name was mentioned as an accused in the recent supplementary chargesheet. Two others, named in the supplementary charge-sheet, were hotelier Kamalakant Das and businessman Sambit Khuntia,” a CBI officer said. While Khuntia was arrested in August 2014, Das was not arrested earlier.
In the supplementary chargesheet, CBI said Behera entered into a criminal conspiracy with AT Group of companies to promote the illegal business of the sham company. “OCA allegedly received Rs one crore from AT Group in the garb of sponsorship of Odisha Ranji cricket team and title sponsorship of Odisha Premier Leage, 2011. OCA promoted the controversial AT Group so that the credibility of the company rose in the eyes of general public and more people invest in the schemes floated by the firm,” the supplementary chargesheet said.
Earlier, Behera had clarified that the OCA received Rs one crore from AT Group towards sponsorship of some matches. “OCA spent around Rs 75 lakh for appointment of former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan as coach of Odisha Ranji team. Around Rs 25 lakh was spent in OPL. The expenditure was made in transparent manner,” Behera was quoted as saying in the media in the past. He was questioned by the enforcement directorate in 2016.



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