A police team from Odisha's Crime Investigation Department (CID) has arrested former MLA and Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Education and Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation (APEWIDC) Malla Vijay Prasad in Visakhapatnam over his alleged role in a chit fund fraud case. Vijay Prasad, a YSRCP leader, was taken to King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam, before being produced in front of a local magistrate. The officials from Odisha took him into custody in the presence of local police from his residence in Visakhapatnam. He was later taken to Odisha for further investigation with the permission of the judge.
Investigation officials said that Malla Vijay Prasad reportedly owns a firm called 'Welfare', which runs real estate and chit fund businesses, with branches in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states. According to the Odisha CID, the money was not being paid to the chit fund subscribers and depositors on time, and a case was registered in July 2019.
The Odisha CID is also said to have seized Rs 45 lakh and several documents pertaining to the chit funds business. The Economic Offences Wing of the Odisha CID is looking into the case. An Odisha-based media outlet, Kalinga TV, reported that the YSRCP leaderâ€™s company had allegedly duped investors to the tune of around Rs 1,200 crore. The report also said that his company was majorly active in Berhampur, Jeypore, Similiguda, Bhadrak, Balasore and some coastal areas in Odisha, and that many cases have been registered against his company in various police stations.
According to reports, the police have registered cases under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of documents), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (fraudulent usage of forged document) and 120(B)(criminal conspiracy), beside other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Malla had earlier served as the MLA for Visakhapatnam West Assembly constituency on a Congress ticket in 2009. He had contested again on a YSRCP ticket in 2019, but was unsuccessful, following which he was appointed as the chairman of the APEWIDC in August this year. His election affidavit from 2019, also declares that similar cases had been registered against him in police stations across Jharkhand under sections of the IPC and The Price Chits and Money Circulation Scheme Act, 1978.