Pune: ED officer assaulted while probing firm in money laundering case

The officer, Umeshkumar Yogesh Gandhi (34), resident of Wadala, Mumbai, later lodged a complaint in this case at the Talegaon Dabhade police station, after consultation with senior ED authorities.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: April 22, 2017 1:25 am

An officer from the Enforcement Directorate was allegedly beaten up by seven people when he had gone to the Siddhi Vinayak Logistic Ltd (SVLL) at Somatne Phata in Talegaon Dabhade for investigation in connection with laundering of tainted money in the alleged Rs 846.29-crore Bank of Maharashtra loan fraud case.

The incident took place on April 10. The officer, Umeshkumar Yogesh Gandhi (34), resident of Wadala, Mumbai, later lodged a complaint in this case at the Talegaon Dabhade police station, after consultation with senior ED authorities.

Police said that when Gandhi came to the SVLL and was conducting inquiries, he was allegedly confined in a room, where he was beaten by wooden sticks by persons associated with the logistics company.

The Talegaon Dabhade police lodged an offence in this case against seven people under sections 342 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code on April 11. Police said they have arrested two persons in this case and further investigation is on. In a related development, the ED on Thursday arrested Rup Chand Baid (58), promoter of SVLL in this case.

Baid, according to ED, was arrested in Mumbai under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Surat-based SVLL had in 2012 launched a scheme called ‘Chalak se Malak’ (from drivers to owners) as a part of its corporate social responsibility program. Under the scheme, the firm took loans from the Bank of Maharashtra to fund the purchase of used as well as new trucks by drivers.

Subsequently, SVLL defaulted on the loan repayment to the bank. In 2015, a forensic audit by the bank allegedly found that SVLL had misused the loan funds. The forensic report alleged that of the total loan disbursed to the firm, at least Rs 629.84 crore was misused. Apart from this, the audit allegedly found that there was no money trail for at least Rs 339.29 crore as SVLL was not able to produce adequate data to the forensic auditors.

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