Now, another chit fund scam can rock Bengal politics: BJP

Now, another chit fund scam can rock Bengal politics: BJP


New Delhi: After Sharada and Rose Valley Chit fund scams, the West Bengal polity may come under cloud of yet another Ponzi scheme fraudulent deals as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is making gradual progress in the Prayag Chit fund scam probe too. "Like two other instances - Rose Valley and Sharada - in this case too there are possibilities of greater conspiracy wherein big shots and those in influential positions have got the benefits," BJP sources said here. After initial probe and interrogation of those in question, the CBI in March this year arrested Basudeb Bagchi, Chairman and Managing Director of Prayag Group of companies. One of the directors of the company and CMD's son Avik Bagchi too was arrested on the charge that the the group has collected money from people by violating the SEBI rules. The total collection by the said the Group of Companies was allegedly to the tune of Rs 2862 crore - much more than the suspected Rose Valley amount. In fact, according to sources in the ruling BJP, the findings in the Prayag scam may also throw light on the murky deals vis-a-vis two other prominent chit fund scam cases as well. "There seems to be a pattern and many big fishes have benefited by distorting laws and helping the questionable company. The Centre is serious about getting at the roots," the BJP source said. Even a few Bollywood links seemed to have come to light, but the matter is being probed further. As of now, Prayag company and the top echelons are charged with cheating, misappropriation of funds and criminal conspiracy. The source said, the Group also operated the Ponzi scheme in eastern India and for obvious had business spread across West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Tripura. The CBI yesterday filed charge sheet against to top executives of a West Bengal-based firm at a designated court in Odisha capital. The probe agency yesterday filed charge sheet against top executives of Prayag at the designated court in Odisha capital - Bhubaneswar. The company is said to have induced investors to invest money by advertising fabricated business prospects. The Sharada and Rose Valley chit fund probes have already embarrassed Bengal's ruling party Trinamool Congress with its senior leaders and lawmakers put behind bars. Two prominent MPs-- Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul-- were arrested in December-January and taken to Bhubaneswar for trying the matters in the designated court. Mr Bandyopadhyay was granted conditional bail in May. The actor-politician Tapas Paul was a director in two companies of the Rose Valley, a hospitality and entertainment group, that has allegedly accumulated Rs.17,000 crores in small savings from small time investors illegally.

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