Kolkata: Two owners of a chit fund company were arrested by CBI in Kolkata on Wednesday, after five hours of interrogation. Basudev Bagchi and his son Avik Bagchi of Prayag Group of Companies were arrested for collecting nearly Rs 2,862 crore from mostly poor people in the state by making fraudulent promises of very high returns, a statement by the agency read. The group ran a film city in West Midnapore district, among other ventures. It also owns a helicopter.
The Prayag Group is one of many chit fund companies into which Supreme Court ordered a probe in May 2014. Two of the other prominent groups are Rose Valley and Saradha. Their chiefs are also in jail.
Several lawmakers and leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress have been questioned and arrested by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate for their links with these scams. The party contends that the BJP was using the CBI against it for raising its voice against the Narendra Modi government's policies like the note ban.
The first lawmaker to be jailed was Kunal Ghosh, recently released on bail. Also arrested and released on bail few months ago is Madan Mitra, a former minister in the Mamata Banerjee government.
The last of the party's leaders to get arrested were lawmakers Tapas Pal and Sudip Bandhopadhyay, who is also its leader in the Lok Sabha. Both were arrested in the Rose Valley chit fund scam and are now in jail hospital in Bhubaneswar.