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Accused by Sanjay Raut of running extortion racket with ED officials, man booked by ACB

Navlani is also reportedly an aide of former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. Mumbai Police had formed a special investigation team led by IPS officer Viresh Prabhu to investigate the allegations after a written complaint was submitted by a Shiv Sena party worker.

Anti-Corruption Bureau, Maharashtra police, Mumbai Police, Param Bir Singh, Sanjay Raut, Mumbai news, Mumbai city news, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Maharashtra government, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsShiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (File)

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Maharashtra Police has registered an FIR against Jitendra ‘Jitu’ Navlani for allegedly collecting nearly Rs 59 crore from several businessmen by claiming to be working at the behest of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers.

Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had alleged that Navlani, along with three officials of the ED, was running an “extortion racket” targetting certain businessman and offering them “protection from ED inquiries” in lieu of money. Raut had alleged that they had extorted over Rs 100 crore from builders and corporate houses in Mumbai.

Navlani is also reportedly an aide of former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

Mumbai Police had formed a special investigation team led by IPS officer Viresh Prabhu to investigate the allegations after a written complaint was submitted by Shiv Sena party worker Arvind Bhosle in March.

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An officer from ACB said they had also received a complaint from Bhosle against Navlani and others, following which they conducted a preliminary inquiry. “Based on the inquiry, we found that Navlani, along with other accomplices, claimed to be working on behalf of ED officials and extorted money from several businessmen,” said the officer.

“During our probe, it came to light that between 2015 and 2021, the accused collected Rs 58.96 crore. The money that was thus collected was either kept with him or with shell companies under his control in the form of unsecured loans or consultancy fees,” said the officer.

Following this, the ACB registered an FIR against Navlani and others under sections 7A ( taking undue advantage to influence public servants with illegal means) and 8 (offence related to bribing of a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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Navlani had allegedly collected the money from several businessmen, claiming that this will ensure that they do not face any ED raids if the said amount was paid. An officer said they are currently investigating if the accused pretended to be working on behalf of ED officers or if the accused was in touch with any ED officials. The officer added that they will issue summons to a few more people in connection with the case to record their statements.

“If need be, we will also call the ED officials to record their statements to find out if Navlani had been misusing their name or if he was known to them,” added the official.

The case had earlier been marked to the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police. Later, it was announced that an SIT, comprising officers from the EOW, Crime Branch and cyber police, will probe the matter. According to sources, the role of some politicians may also be revealed in the probe.

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Despite repeated attempts by The Indian Express, Navlani could not be contacted for comment.

First published on: 06-05-2022 at 02:51 IST
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