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ED Attaches Biswal Assets

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs. 3.92 crore of former MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal and STV Samachar in a money laundering case against chit fund firm Seashore Group of companies.

“ED has provisionally attached movable as well as immovable assets worth Rs.3,92,20,000/- belonging to Pravat Ranjan Biswal, erstwhile MLA, Cuttack & Media Guru Consultants Pvt. Ltd under PMLA,2002 in a ponzi scam case. With this, total attachment in this case is now Rs.261.92 Cr,” the Central Agency informed in a tweet.

In a statement, the ED said a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was issued to attach Rs 25 lakh bank deposits of Pravat Biswal, a three-time former MLA from the Cuttack-Choudwar Assembly seat in Odisha, held at the SBI Cuttack branch.

The ED has attached the properties under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in connection to a money laundering case against chit fund firm, Seashore Group of companies.

According to the press, the attached assets include bank balance of Rs. 25 lakhs at SBI Cuttack Branch belonging to Mr.Biswal and one immovable property belonging to Media Guru Consultants Private Ltd. in Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.

The ED said the companies generated proceeds of crime and diverted the said tainted money into acquiring different movable and immovable properties.

“They fraudulently and dishonestly collected huge amount from the general public out of which Rs. 25 lakhs was diverted to the ex-MLA & his family members and Rs. 4 crore was diverted to M/s Media Guru Consultants Private Ltd to set up a news and current affairs TV channel named STV Samachar,” it said.

The economic offence wing (EOW) of Odisha crime branch and CBI have already filed FIR and chargesheets under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Seashore Group of Companies which were involved in the process of money laundering.

The company was engaged in fraudulent collection of deposits from the gullible public in the guise of issuance of preferential shares by enrolling the depositors as members of cooperative societies.

These companies were neither registered as Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) nor listed in National Stock Exchange of India (NSEI) and as such not authorised to collect such public deposits, it said.

Subsequently, the companies suddenly closed down their business and defaulted in return to depositors after maturity and failed to pay even interest on the deposits despite repeated request and approach of the depositors.

Notably, CBI had attested Mr.Biswal on September 19, 2017 for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam and alleged complicity with tainted firm Seashore. Later, he was granted bail.