The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday seized hard disks from two employees of Topsgrup in Mumbai while they were trying to leave the office of the security firm allegedly after deleting data on the company’s computers.
The agency’s officials apprehended the two employees at the company’s office in Goregaon here and also seized their phones.
Sources said WhatsApp chats of one of the employees shows that Rasshi Nanda, daughter of Topsgrup promoter Rahul Nanda, had allegedly instructed him to destroy digital data on the office computers after taking a backup on hard drives.
The ED recorded statements of the employees and let them go.
The agency is investigating a money laundering case against the promoters of Topsgrup, a few related parties and Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik. The ED case is based on an FIR, filed on October 28 by a former employee of Topsgrup, Ramesh Iyer, who has alleged that the company cheated the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority of Rs 175 crore.
This contract, the ED has alleged, was facilitated by Sarnaik – the agency accuses the legislator of getting kickbacks from Topsgrup to the tune of Rs 7 crore. The ED has raided both Sarnaik and Nanda’s properties in connection with the case.
The probe agency has also allegedly found accommodation entries of about Rs 5 crore in one of Sarnaik’s firms. Sources said evidence collected by ED reveals that Sarnaik’s firm allegedly used to give cash to accommodation entry providers and get a cheque in return for a commission. The agency has also allegedly found irregularities in the purchase of land by another Sarnaik Group firm, sources said.
Sarnaik, a three-time Sena MLA from Thane, had initiated a breach of privilege motion against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for his remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other state ministers.
He was also one of the first politicians in the state to seek a reinvestigation into the Anvay Naik suicide case, for which Goswami was subsequently arrested by Raigad police.
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