DAYS AFTER the arrest of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday carried out searches at multiple locations in Mumbai in connection with a case of alleged money laundering linked to the Patra Chawl redevelopment project.
Sources in the agency revealed that the raids were carried out in the eastern suburbs after the name of a developer came up during the investigation. On August 2, the agency had carried out similar searches at two locations after Raut’s arrest.
The ED had alleged that the arrested persons and others involved in the case had converted some money earned through the scam into cash through fake transactions. The searches were carried out in order to ascertain the cash transactions which took place during the course of committing the fraud.
ED officials who arrested Raut on August 1 claimed that the Sena leader and his family were “direct beneficiaries” of about Rs 1.06 crore.
The agency alleged that Raut’s co-accused Pravin Raut, who is claimed to have received Rs 112 crore from infrastructure company HDIL for the redevelopment project, is his “frontman”.
“Being the frontman of Shri Sanjay Raut, he (Pravin) utilised his proximity with Shri Sanjay Raut for obtaining the approval from MHADA (housing authority) and other advantages best known to themselves,” the ED remand plea stated.
The agency said the duo had played a key role in execution of “illegal transactions” while participating in the alleged conspiracy. It claimed that Raut had utilised “considerable amount of cash” in the purchase of 10 land parcels in Kihim in Alibag for which payment was made in cash, which was allegedly sourced from Pravin.