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Model Preeti Bhatia arrested by CBI in chit fund scam

BhubaneswarMumbai model-turned TV serial producer Preeti Bhatia was arrested on Friday by CBI in the Artha Tatwa chit fund scam and remanded in CBI custody for four days by the special chief judicial magistrate.

She was taken to the local government hospital for a health checkup and then lodged in CBI custody for further interrogation.

The producer's lawyer has applied for regular bail before the court. CBI sources said in Delhi that an amount of Rs 4 crore was allegedly transferred from the Arth Tatwa group companies to accounts operated by Preeti Bhatia's company and her relatives.

She was questioned five times by CBI sleuths, who were unsatisfied with her replies.

CBI sources alleged, Artha Tatwa group promoter Pradeep Sethi had used depositors' money to set up Prism Heights Films and Entertainment Pvt Ltd, with Preeti Bhatia as dierector. The company's authorised capital was Rs 10 lakhs and paid-up capital was Rs 1 lakh. It was registered with Registrar of Companies, Mumbai in January, 2010 with its head office at 46, Devshakti Apartments, Tilak Road, Santacruz, Mumbai.

The office premises was searched one and a half month ago by CBI sleuths, after which several documents related to Pradeep Sethi and Preeti Bhatia were seized.

CBI sources said, the promoters had booked several studios in Mumbai to launch several Hindi TV serials. The Artha Tatwa group had released an Odia film "Aasibu Kebey Saaji Mo Rani" in November, 2010. The film featured BJD MLA Akash Das Nayak and Bengali actress Khushi.

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