The Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached properties worth Rs 11.15 crore belonging to Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, and others, in a case related to irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra Chawl Project at Goregaon by M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd.
The attached assets are in the form of lands held by Sanjay Raut’s aide, Pravin Raut – a former director of Guru Ashish – at Palghar, Saphale and Padgha, a flat in Dadar belonging to Varsha Raut, and plots at Kihim Beach at Alibaug, jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of another aide of Sanjay Raut, Sujit Patkar, agency officers informed on Tuesday.
The ED had, on Friday, filed a charge sheet against businessman Pravin Raut, who was arrested in the said case.
The ED statement said: “The money trail investigation conducted so far has revealed that around Rs 100 crore were transferred from HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut. This amount was further diverted by Pravin to various accounts of his close associates, family members, his business entities etc.”
On the role of Sanjay Raut’s family, the ED said, “It is also revealed that during 2010, part of the proceeds of crime, amounting to Rs 83 lakh, was received by Varsha Raut directly/indirectly from Madhuri Raut, wife of Pravin Raut. This amount was utilized by Varsha Raut for purchase of a flat in Dadar. It is also revealed that after initiation of ED investigation the amount of Rs 55 lakh was transferred by Varsha Raut to Madhuri Raut. There are also various other transactions.”
The ED further said, “During the said period, eight plots of land at Kihim beach in Alibaug were also purchased in the names of Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Sanjay Raut. In this land deal, apart from the registered value, cash payments were made to the sellers. On identification of these assets and other assets of Pravin Raut, a provisional attachment order attaching all these assets of Pravin Raut and his associates has been issued.”
In February, the ED had arrested Pravin Raut, former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The company was involved in redevelopment of Patra Chawl. Patra Chawl had 672 tenants in tenements on 47 acres of land belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).
The ED had initiated investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing against M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Kumar Wadhawan. M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd had entered into a tripartite agreement with the tenants and the MHADA to redevelop Patra Chawl.
“Investigation under PMLA has revealed that M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt. Ltd was entrusted with the development of Patra Chawl Project for rehabilitation of 672 tenants. During the relevant time, Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan and Pravin Raut were the Directors of M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd. A tripartite agreement was signed between MHADA and M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd,” ED officers said.
Further, they added, “According to the agreement, the developer would provide the flats to 672 tenants and develop flats for MHADA and thereafter, the remaining area was to be sold by the developer. The directors of M/s Guru Ashish Constructions misled MHADA and managed to sell the FSI to nine developers and collected approximately Rs 901.79 crore without constructing the rehab portion for 672 displaced tenants and MHADA portion. Further, M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt. Ltd have also launched a project, namely The Meadows, and took booking amounts of around Rs 138 crore from flat buyers. The total proceeds of the crime generated by Directors of M/s Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt. Ltd through the illegal activities were approximately Rs 1,039.79 crore. The part of the proceeds of crime was further transferred to close associates,” agency officers claimed.