Bhujbal case: ED conducts more searches

4 Indian shareholders in two offshore companies under ED lens likely to record statements today.

| Mumbai | Updated: June 23, 2015 2:27 am

 

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday raided at least five places in Mumbai in connection with its ongoing probe against NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal into the alleged irregularities in the Maharashtra Sadan construction.

The agency had last week filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) against Bhujbal and some of his family members.

He is already facing a probe by the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and 26 of his properties have been searched so far.

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“We have raided four premises belonging to Chamankar Enterprises and one of Rajesh Mistry, a connected party in the Bhujbal case. Digital evidence has been collected in the raids,” a top ED officer told The Indian Express.

Of the three cases the agency is probing, the first pertains to tenders awarded for construction work of the Maharashtra Sadan building to Chamankar Enterprises.

The ED has found that K S Chamankar of the Chamankar Enterprise had subsequently awarded sub-contracts to Origin Infrastructure Private Ltd and Niche Infrastructure Private Ltd, whose directors were employees of MET and Ideen furniture whose director is Bhujbal’s daughter-in-law Vaishali Bhujbal.

“Royal Enterprise paid Rs 9 crore to Nice Infrastructure Private Limited and Origin Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The company that made the payment is owned by the business partner of Chamankar. The explanation given for the said payment is not satisfactory,” said a source in the agency. “Similarly, Chamankar Enterprise paid Rs 67 crore to Ideen Furniture, whose director is Vaishali,” said the source.

Last week, the agency had summoned four Indian shareholders in the two offshore companies currently under its lens. The shareholders are expected to record their statements Tuesday.

“These individuals were the initial shareholders in the two Singapore-based companies to which Rs 30 crore was transferred by an Indian company, where (Bhujbal’s son) Pankaj and (nephew) Sameer are directors. We are probing a transfer of Rs 30 crore from the account of Armstrong Energy Pvt Ltd in Saraswat Bank to two of its wholly-owned companies Armstrong Global and Armstrong Infrastructure in Singapore,” a senior official from the agency said.

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