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Orissa cops bust Rs 107-crore cheat' funds scam

The state Crime Branch on Wednesday claimed to have busted a multi-crore scam involving fake marketing companies and chit funds. Police
said they have frozen bank accounts worth Rs 107 crore and arrested one person in this connection.

SP (Crime Branch) Santosh Bala said sleuths from the department had arrested Saroj Kumar Samanta (30) from Akandi in Balasore district's Singla police station area on Tuesday.

"Samanta had been running a fake company, Dream Achiever, since April 14 by hosting a website www.dreamachiever.in. Though he was operating the company from Balasore, he had given a Delhi address," the SP said.

DSP (Crime Branch) Pramod Kumar Panda, who led the investigation, said Dream Achiever duped public by promising them to triple their money within a year. The trick had worked and around Rs 4.46 crore was deposited into the accounts of Dream Achiever within a short span of time. "The scheme came with offers for prospective investors, who were promised special discounts for introducing two other depositors," Panda said. The Crime Branch investigation came in the wake of several complaints lodged with Balasore police by money losers. After a preliminary investigation, SP (Balasore) Rekha Lohani had handed the case over to Crime Branch.

"As many as six cases have been registered in this connection. We are also inquiring into the involvement of banks in the racket without whose help such companies can't flourish. Besides, efforts are on to nab the promoters of other such organizations," the officer said. The Crime Branch has so far zeroed in on as many as seven such fake companies and chit fund organizations, which had been duping people by using accounts in reputed banks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IDBI Bank and SBI. Officers said a total amount of Rs 107 crore have been frozen in 11 accounts held in branches of the banks in several cities, including Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Kanpur, Delhi and Mumbai.

"The companies whose accounts have been frozen include Trident Advertising & Trade Link Pvt Ltd, Fine Indisales Pvt Ltd, Eve Industries, Lakshya Level Marketing Pvt Ltd, Lui Brail Educational Society, Many Mantra Marketing Services Pvt Ltd and Dream Achiever," Panda said. "Apart from these seven, many such companies are operating in and outside Orissa and the total money involved in the racket will be more than Rs 1,000 crore. Orissa's share will not be less than Rs 150 crore," he added.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India had warned all nationalized and private banks not to have accounts of as many as 10 such companies, including six that are already under the Crime Branch scanner. The other four are Alaska India, Superlife Linked Distributors, Star Consultancy Pvt Ltd and Seashore Funds Management Pvt Ltd.

An RBI memorandum on July 11 had advised not to allow these 10 companies and organisations to open accounts with them. "These MMCs are opening accounts without complying with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) norms and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act. Innocent people are being trapped by fraudulent schemes launched by such unscrupulous persons and companies," the memorandum read.



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