Bhubaneswar: In yet another blow to the ruling BJD, CBI on Tuesday arrested party's Mayurbhanj MP Ramchandra Hansda and former MLAs Subarna Naiak and Hitesh Bagarti for their alleged links with multi-crore chitfund scam in Odisha.
"The three have been arrested by the special investigating team of CBI on charge of criminal conspiracy, cheating and diversion of funds," top CBI sources said, adding that the three leaders were former directors of Nabadiganta Capital Services Limited, a ponzi group.
The CBI has been probing the activities of 44 ponzi companies in the state which allegedly duped thousands of investors of their hard earned deposits.
Hansda and the two former MLAs were summoned to the CBI office for interrogation and arrested after a few hours, they said.
Earlier, during a raid on Hansda's house in Mayurbhanj district in July, the agency had recovered Rs 28 lakh.
However, Hansda claimed that the cash was personal. "A portion of the cash recovered from my house belonged to the party and workers," Hansda said, alleging that he was victim of a conspiracy.
"Pradip Patnaik, one of the dictors of Nabadiganta belonged to Congress and he has been politicising the whole matter," Hansda alleged.
Earlier on October 26, the CBI had put behind bars Nabadiganta's CMD Anjan Baliarsingh and two directors - Kartik Parida and Pradeep Patnaik.
The arrest of Hansda came as a fresh embarrassment for the ruling BJD coming close on the heels of the arrest of BJD MLA and former government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy by CBI on October 31.