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Seashore Group Ponzi scam: CBI raids 36 places in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The CBI today carried out searches at 36 locations in Odisha including the premises of a BJD MP, an MLA and a close aide of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in connection with the Seashore Group Ponzi scam, even as the ruling party hit the streets slamming the move as a pre-Panchayat poll stunt.

The places raided by teams of the central investigating agency included houses of Lok Sabha MP from Balasore Rabindra Jena, Choudwar-Cuttack MLA Prabhat Biswal and Saroj Sahu, office staff of Naveen Nivas, the residence of the Chief Minister, sources said.

While raids were conducted at over five premises of Jena at Balasore, the CBI team raided Biswal’s government quarters in MLA Colony in Bhubaneswar and his house at Mahanadi Vihar locality in Cuttack, they said.

The house of Saroj Sahu, considered as close to the Chief Minister, was also raided by the agency sleuths in Palaspalli area here, sources said adding, Sahu had been interrogated by the CBI in November, 2014 in connection with the Seashore Group Ponzi scam.

Search operations were also carried out at the houses of some hotel owners, Seashore Group officials and some other “important” persons in different places, they said.

The exercise was aimed at ascertaining the exact nature of links these people had with the Seashore Group, which is accused of duping investors of huge amounts.

Jena, an industrialist-turned-politician, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Balasore in 2014, had been grilled by the CBI in connection with his alleged role in the Seashore chit fund scam, they said.

Similarly, the central probe agency had also interrogated Biswal several times in 2014, while his wife Laxmi Bilasini Biswal was also grilled by the CBI recently.

PTI