Bhubaneswar: Expediting investigation into the multi-crore chit fund scams in Odisha, officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday raided the residence of former minister and BJD leader Debi Mishra in Bhubaneswar in connection with the Seashore chit fund scam.
As per reports, simultaneous raids are being conducted at his official residence in Unit-1 area of Bhubaneswar and 7 other places in connection with the scam.
CBI had earlier served notices to two bureaucrats – Parag Gupta posted as secretary of Tourism department and Sangram Keshari Ray the then General Manager of Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) when Odisha government had signed MoU with Seashore. It is being alleged that Debi Mishra during his tenure as Odisha Culture & Tourism Minister signed agreements with Seashore for a water sports complex with a restaurant in Cuttack apart from giving permission to the company to manage government-run guest house in Khurda.
In response, Mishra said, “The CBI officials inquired about Seashore Mahanadi tourism project. Probe is underway since 2013 and I’ve been questioned in this connection earlier too because I was tourism minister. Whatever decision was taken was not based on personal whims, it was decided by government. We have always cooperated with the CBI and will continue to do so. My house wasn’t raided, they had just come to seek information regarding documents. I’ve told them that the documents are with the tourism department.”
Notably, the CBI had re-opened the probe in July earlier this year by interrogating one of the main accused, Subhankar Nayak to ascertain the role of two IAS officers and one IPS officer in the scam.
Nayak was earlier arrested and sent to jail in November 2014 in connection with the Rs 500-crore Seashore chit fund scam. Later, he was out on bail in August 2017 following HC order.
It is pertinent to mention that former BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal was arrested in September 2017 in connection with a fraudulent land deal with the Seashore Group.