The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon take possession of the land, machinery and building of Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana (Jarandeshwar SSK) worth Rs 65.75 crore in Satara, Maharashtra, following an order by the adjudicating authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sources said the agency is awaiting a copy of the written order, before taking possession of the assets.
Last year in July, the ED had provisionally attached these assets after it found that the Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank sold Jarandeshwar SSK in 2010 through an auction without following any rules at a lower price than fair value. The ED alleged that Ajit Pawar was on the board of the bank. The central agency found Jarandeshwar SSK was purchased by Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd and was immediately leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, where Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd, a company linked to Ajit Pawar and his wife Sunetra Ajit Pawar, is a majority shareholder.
“The major part of the funds utilized towards purchase of the said SSK was received from Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, which received the same from Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd, a company related to Ajit Pawar and his wife,” said the ED.
The ED has alleged that Guru Commodity Services is a “dummy company”, which was used to acquire Jarandeshwar SSK.
“Further, the Jarandeshwar SSK has been used as a vehicle by the Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills for obtaining loan to the tune of Rs 700 crore (approx) from Pune District Central Co-operative Bank and others from the year 2010 till date,” the ED had said at the time of provisional attachment.
In September 2019, a month before the Assembly polls in Maharashtra, the ED registered a money laundering case against NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar in connection with an alleged Rs 25,000-crore scam at the MSC Bank.
The case pertaining to the alleged fraud at the MSC Bank originated from a criminal PIL filed on January 28, 2019 before the Bombay High Court. The PIL alleged that the then top executives of the MSC Bank and office bearers and directors of various sugar factories, cotton mills and other processing units were given loans in a fraudulent manner by the MSC Bank and, in the process, several illegalities were committed.