29 C
Guwahati
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

ED attaches properties of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife, associates in money laundering case

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

New Delhi/Mumbai, April 5 (PTI): The Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife and two of his associates in a money-laundering investigation linked to certain land deals, the agency said on Tuesday.

Raut, who has been accusing the BJP-led Union government of misusing central agencies against its opponents, alleged that is was an act of vengeance and said the ED’s claims against him will fall flat.

The attached properties are in form of lands held by Pravin M Raut, former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, in Palghar and Thane districts, a flat in Mumbai’s suburban Dadar area of Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut and eight plots at Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the agency said in a statement.

Swapna Patkar is the wife of Sujit Patkar who, according to the ED, is a close associate of Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson.

In the Alibaug land deal, apart from the registered value, “cash” payments were made to the sellers, the agency found. It said the total value of the attached assets is Rs 11,15,56,573.

The ED action linked to alleged irregularities in the re-development of a Mumbai ‘chawl’ and other similar instances, comes in the backdrop of several leaders of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also facing the heat from the central agency. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.

Raut termed the ED action an attack on the “middle-class Marathi manoos” and asserted he will not be cowed by such moves and resist any act to pressure him.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Raut pointed out that the ED action came on a day when the Mumbai Police formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe allegations of extortion against the central agency’s officers.

The MVA government too hit out at the Centre, alleging that the action against Raut was driven by political vendetta.

Maharashtra Home minister Dilip Walse Patil alleged that attempts are being made to destabilise the MVA government in the state.

“There definitely is political vendetta…The action was taken without issuing any notice to him (Raut) and conducting any probe. This shows how the Centre is working,” the minister alleged.

“Attempts are being made at all levels to destabilise the MVA government, but the government is stable and there is no threat. It will complete its five-year term,” Walse Patil said in Mumbai.

Pravin Raut was arrested by the ED in February as part of a money-laundering probe linked to a Rs 1,034 crore alleged land scam related to the re-development of the Patra ‘chawl’ in Mumbai’s Goregaon area.

He is in judicial custody at present.

Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd was involved in the re-development of this ‘chawl’ which had 672 tenants in tenements on 47 acres of land belonging to Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), the ED earlier said.

Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary company of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd. (HDIL).

HDIL is under investigation by the ED and a few other agencies in connection with the about Rs 4,300 crore alleged fraud at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.

The ED said the company (Guru Ashish) had entered into a “tripartite agreement’ with the tenants and MHADA to re-develop the ‘chawl’.

According to the agreement, the ED said, the developer had to provide flats to 672 tenants and develop flats for MHADA and thereafter the remaining area to be sold by the developer.

“The directors of Guru Ashish Constructions mislead MHADA and managed to sell the FSI (floor space index) to nine developers and collected about Rs 901.79 crore without constructing the rehab portion for 672 displaced tenants and MHADA portion,” it said.

This realty company also launched a project called Meadows and took the booking amount of around Rs 138 crore from flat buyers.

“The total proceeds of the crime generated by directors of Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt. Ltd l. through illegal activities was about Rs 1,039.79 crore. Part of the proceeds of crime was further transferred to close associates,” it alleged.

The ED probe, conducted so far, found that “around Rs 100 crore were transferred from HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut.”.

This amount was further “diverted” by Pravin Raut to various accounts of his close associates, family member, his business entities, etc, it said.

“During 2010, part of the proceeds of crime of Rs 83 lakh was received by Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut, directly/indirectly from Madhuri Pravin Raut, wife of Pravin Raut.

“This amount was utilised by Varsha Raut for purchase of flat at Dadar east,” the agency alleged.

It is found that after the initiation of the ED investigation, an amount of Rs 55 lakh was transferred back by Varsha Raut to  Madhuri Raut. There are various other transactions too, it said.

The agency had questioned Varsha Raut last year in connection with the PMC Bank case and her purported links with Pravin Raut’s wife.

The probe found that Varsha Sanjay Raut and Madhuri Pravin Raut “are partners in Avani Construction and Varsha Raut has received Rs 12 lakh from this entity (as overdrawn capital converted to loan) on a contribution of mere Rs 5,625.”

Last month, Sanjay Raut had alleged that some ED officers were running an extortion racket.

The MP claimed he was being targeted by the BJP, a former ally of the Shiv Sena, as he did not support efforts to bring down the MVA government in Maharashtra.

- Advertisement -
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -