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One Arrested in Bhubaneswar in Rs 12 Crore Fraud Case

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Police has arrested a fraudster for allegedly duping investors on the pretext of facilitating the opening of grocery marts and hefty returns on investments in warehouse projects in various places of the state, an official said on Thursday.

The accused, identified as Pankaj Kumar Parida, was arrested from Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

Parida, a native of Balasore district, holds an MBA degree in marketing.

He was staying at Lingipur under Dhauli police limits in Bhubaneswar.

Parida used to head the fraud firm ‘M/s Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd’ in Odisha and Jharkhand.

He has been arrested in connection with a case registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by one Ruturaj Mohanty.

In his complaint, Mohanty alleged that the mastermind Parsuram Rajnetbhai Pal and accused Pankaj Kumar Parida, both directors of M/s Armada Bazar Pvt. Ltd, had fraudulently taken Rs 1.26 crore from him and other relatives by promising to facilitate the victims open new grocery and daily utility item marts in different cities of Odisha and offer high returns against investments in the warehousing projects of the alleged company.

The company also has several sister concerns like Armada Mart Pvt. Ltd., Armada Pay Pvt. Ltd., Armada Express Pvt. Ltd., Armada Hotel & Resort Pvt. Ltd. etc.

As per the press note released by EOW, the company has floated five schemes namely Mini Mart, Super Mart, Hyper Mart, Mega Mart and Super Mega Mart, for the investment ranging from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 5 crore for the high returns.

Similarly, the company also floated three schemes for the franchise of the marts at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh, Bargarh, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Parlakhemundi, Jagannathprasad, Odagaon, Nabarangpur covering eight

districts of the state.

The company has collected Rs 12 crore from investors in Odisha alone promising to help them open grocery marts in various cities of Odisha and hefty returns through warehouse projects.

However, the company neither ran the marts nor gave the franchise or returned the money to the investors, and cheated the investors.

The company has also defrauded the investors of as many as ten other states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujrat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra etc. following the similar modus operandi.

Police have seized incriminating materials like laptop, mobile phones, authorization letter and money receipts during investigation.

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