ED summons MMRDA chief to record evidence in Tops Grup case

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner RA Rajeev in Tops Grup case.

The agency is probing alleged misappropriations in a contract bagged by Tops Group with the MMRDA. While Rajeev was not the MMRDA chief then, he is likely to throw light on the deal.

"In connection to the tender case pertaining to Tops Security from 2014-17, the ED has summoned the MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner for recording evidence. Since the Metropolitan Commissioner in that period, Shri. Urvinder Singh Madan has retired, the current chair, Shri. RA Rajeev will be visiting the ED office on behalf of MMRDA though the case pertains to his predecessor’s tenure," MMRDA said in a statement.

Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik and his two sons Vihang and Purvesh have been questioned in the case.

The ED registered a case on the basis of the FIR registered with Yellow Gate police station. As per the FIR filed by Ramesh Iyer from Tops Group, Rahul Nanda, promoter and chairman of the group and other connected persons diverted huge funds from the account of Tops Group companies to various accounts in India and to accounts of overseas companies. As per the allegations, the company was defrauded to the tune of Rs 175 crore. Nanda has earlier denied allegations.

The ED has arrested one Amit Chandole, 46, a Thane resident on November 25 last year in the case and has referred to Chandole as Sarnaik’s confidante before the court. According to ED, the statement of Chandole has been recorded, wherein he stated that he came into contact with Nanda through Sarnaik, who is his close friend.

The ED has earlier told the court that Chandole, in his statement, said that there was a contract of Tops Group with MMRDA in which he was sharing 50% of the profit arising out of the contract. The contract was providing security to MMRDA lands and that there was no return agreement regarding sharing of 50% profit and it was oral based on trust only. The payment regarding 50% profit share was made to him in cash, which used to be given by Niraj Bijlani, who is the ex-CEO of Tops Group.

Chandole added that he also used to get payments in NEFT and that the cash received from Tops Group used to be utilised towards household expenses.

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