ED Attaches Assets Of Firm Owned By Brother-In-Law Of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) The ED on Tuesday said it has attached assets worth Rs 6.45 crore of a company owned by the brother-in-law of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in connection with a money laundering investigation.
The Enforcement Directorate said in a statement that it has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach 11 residential flats in Neelambari project, located in Thane near Mumbai, of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited.
Shridhar Madhav Patankar, the brother of Thackeray's wife Rashmi, 'owns and controls' Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited, it said.
Rashmi Thackeray is also the editor of Shiva Sena publications such as 'Saamna' and 'Marmik'.
The agency alleged funds that were siphoned off in a money laundering case being investigated against the Pushpak group and its company Pushpak Bullion were 'parked' in the real estate projects of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt. Ltd.
The Pushpak group was booked by the ED under the PMLA in March 2017 in a criminal case linked to demonetisation of two high value currencies -- Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 -- by the Union government the year before.
Properties worth Rs 21.46 crore of the promoters of Pushpak Bullion like Mahesh Patel, Chandrakant Patel, their family members and companies 'controlled' by them were attached earlier, it said.
Probe found Mahesh Patel had 'siphoned off and layered' funds of Pushpak group concern called Pushpak Realty in connivance with Nandkishore Chaturvedi, an accommodation entry provider or a person who provides fake business entries, the ED claimed.
Pushpak Realty Developer, in the 'garb' of sale, transferred funds to the tune of Rs 20.02 crore to the entities controlled by Nandkishore Chaturvedi after layering it through various connected/unconnected entities, it alleged.
'Chaturvedi who operates a number of shell companies further transferred the money through his shell company Humsafar Dealer Private Limited in the garb of extending unsecured loans in excess of Rs 30 Crore to M/s Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiri Pvt. Ltd.
'Thus, the money siphoned off by Mahesh Patel in connivance with Nandkishore Chaturvedi was parked in the real estate projects by Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt. Ltd,' the ED alleged.
Uddhav Thackeray, also the Shiv Sena chief, is heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra which was formed in 2019 after his party, the NCP and the Congress joined hands to run the state.
These parties have alleged that central probe agencies, including the ED, have been targeting their leaders and their families at the behest of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
BJP leaders have said that the agencies were doing their job independently and acting only on the basis of evidence.
Maharashtra minister and leader of Sharad Pawar-led NCP, Nawab Malik was arrested by the ED last month on money laundering charges, his former colleague Anil Deshmukh was held in a separate case and a sugar mill linked to state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was attached by the agency last year in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case.
Assets belonging to Maharashtra minister and NCP MLA Prajakt Tanpure and others were also attached by it last month in connection with its probe into the alleged scam in MSCB.
It has also questioned Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha in a money laundering case while party leader and minister Anil Parab has been questioned by it in the case against Anil Deshmukh.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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