Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to Varsha Raut, wife of Shiv Sena member of Parliament Sanjay Raut, for recording her statement in a money-laundering case.
The wife of the senior Sena leader is set to be questioned again as the agency has directed her to appear on January 11. She had come to the ED office on Monday where the agency questioned her for three and a half hours. The agency is probing transactions between Varsha Raut and Madhuri, the wife of the accused Pravin Raut. Pravin Raut has been associated with Guruashish Constructions, which is linked to the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL). Over 73 per cent of the PMC Bank’s loan exposure was to HDIL, the ED probe revealed.
The agency is questioning her over the loan acquired from Madhuri Raut as it believes that the money is acquired from the “proceeds of crime” in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam case, which has been touted as one of the biggest banking frauds in recent history. The ED has recently attached properties worth Rs 72 crore belonging to Pravin Raut under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in the PMC bank scam case.
“Investigation under the PMLA revealed that Rs 95 crore has been siphoned off through HDIL by one of the accused Pravin Raut in active conspiracy and connivance with various persons. The source of the funds were illegal availed loans/advances etc. by HDIL from PMC Bank. There was no document/agreement etc. in support of these payments made to Pravin Raut,” the ED said in a recent statement.
It added, “Further, as per the ledger of M/s. HDIL, the funds were given to Pravin Raut for acquiring land in the Palghar area. The investigation also revealed that Pravin Raut paid an amount of Rs 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri Pravin Raut from the proceeds of crime. Out of the said money, Madhuri Raut transferred Rs 55 lakh (Rs 50 lakh on 23.12.2010 and Rs 5 lakh on 15.03.2011) as interest-free loan to Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut. The amount was further utilised for purchase of flat in Dadar (east), Mumbai. Investigation further revealed that Varsha Sanjay Raut and Madhuri Pravin Raut are partners in M/s. Avani Construction. Varsha Sanjay Raut has received Rs12 lakh from this entity (as overdrawn capital converted to loan) on a contribution of mere Rs 5,625. The loan amount of Rs 12 lakh still remains outstanding.”