The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached assets of a relative of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a money laundering case. The ED has attached immovable properties worth Rs 6.45 crore of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt Ltd owned by Shridhar Madhav Patankar, the brother of Rashmi Thackeray, the chief minister’s wife.
Pushpak Bullion is accused of accepting demonetised currency amounting to Rs 84.5 crore for the purchase of 258 kg of gold.
The attached assets of the Thackeray relative include 11 residential flats in a real estate project called Neelambari in Thane.
An ED investigation had earlier found that Mahesh Patel of Mumbai-based Pushpak Group had “siphoned off and layered funds” of Pushpak group companies. In one such instance, the ED claimed that Pushpak Realty Developer transferred Rs 20.02 crore to a group of entities controlled by an accommodation entry provider, Nandkishore Chaturvedi “after layering it through various connected/ unconnected entities.”
This money was subsequently parked in a real estate project developed by Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti.
“Nandkishore 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 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 said.
The ED had registered a case against Pushpak Bullion in March 2017. The agency had found that Rs 84.5 crore demonetised currency notes were deposited in the bank accounts of two jewellery firms after demonetisation in November 2016 and the money was then transferred to Pushpak Bullion for the purchase of 258 kg of gold.
Previously, the agency had provisionally attached properties worth Rs 21.46 crore of the promoters of Pushpak Bullion — including assets of the brother-in-law of Chief Minister Thackeray — in one of the cases that have acquired a political hue in Maharashtra. In February, the ED had arrested a businessman-cum-liaison agent Pravin Raut after registering a money-laundering case related to a fraudulent FSI (floor space index) sale of a plot in Goregaon. Pravin’s wife Madhuri and wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Varsha, were partners in a company that is under the ED’s scanner in the case. Pravin Raut had a substantial interest in real estate at Saphale in the Phalghar district, close to Mumbai.