The CBI on Tuesday arrested Mayurbhanj's BJD MP Ramchandra Hansdah and two ex-MLAs for their alleged link with the Nabadiganta Capital Financial Services, a chit fund company in Odisha.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former MLAs -- Subarna Naik of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Hitesh Bagartti of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- after they were interrogated for three hours on Tuesday.
The three political leaders were interrogated for the third time in the past 12 days for their alleged complicity with the chit fund firm.
"Ramchandra Hansdah (BJD MP), Hitesh Kumar Bagartti (ex-MLA, BJP) and Subarna Naik (ex-MLA, BJD) have been arrested by CBI SIT in connection with the Nabadiganta group case in the Odisha chit fund cases on allegations of criminal conspiracy, cheating and diversion of funds," said a statement of CBI PRO Cell, New Delhi.
CBI sources said the leaders, who were directors in the company, could not produce documents to substantiate their stand on not cheating depositors.
Hansdah and the other two leaders had deposed before the investigating agency Oct 26 for the last time and were grilled for four hours.
CBI had earlier raided houses of the three leaders and found some documents.
It had also recovered Rs.28 lakh from Hansdah's Rairangpur residence during a raid in July.
Hansdah had initially claimed that it was his own money. Later, he changed his stand saying the money belonged to his supporters. Tuesday, he said the money is from the BJD, a claim the party leaders denied to buy.
Managing director of the company Anjan Kumar Baliarsingh and two directors -- Kartikeya Parida and Pradeep Patnaik -- were arrested Oct 26. They are in jail after a special CBI court rejected their bail plea Nov 1.
The CBI has also arrested BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy for his alleged link with Artha Tatwa Group, another chit fund company in the state.
Meanwhile, the BJD has distanced itself from the arrests.
BJD spokesperson Rabinarayan Nanda said: "The party is no way to be blamed for the involvement of party leaders in the scam. That is their personal matter. We hope the CBI will take action as per law. It will never tarnish the image of BJD."
BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan also echoed the same view and said the party had denied ticket to Bagartti during the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections after coming to know of his involvement in the scam.