IL&FS case: ED quizzes Rajan Shirodkar, Unmesh Joshi

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday quizzed Rajan Shirodkar, one of the erstwhile partners in the Kohinoor CTNL venture that was developing the Kohinoor Square skyscraper at Dadar, over the proceeds earned from his shares in the project which he had surrendered in 2008.

The questioning was part of the ongoing money laundering probe the agency has launched in the IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) alleged payment default case involving the development of Kohinoor Suare building.

Shirodkar, along with the MNS chief, Raj Thackeray, had withdrawn from the project in 2008 by surrendering their shares. IL&FS which had pump­ed Rs225 crore had also exited the project in the same year by surrendering its share for Rs90 crore, thereby taking a hit of Rs135 crore. However, the proceeds earned by Thackeray and Shirodkar is not out in the open, as yet.

Emerging out of the ED office at Ballard Pier late in the evening, Shirodkar, who was quizzed for the second consecutive day, parried questions when asked to specify the value of his surrendered shares.“I have explained the probe agency about the proceeds earned by surrendering the shares.”

Elaborating further about the questioning, Shirodkar, who appeared visibly tired, said, “I have submitted the relevant papers, which were verified. I was queried about my association with the company between 2005 and 2008 (when he withdrew).”

Former CM and Shiv Sena leader Manojar Joshi’s son Unmesh Joshi, another partner in the project, who was grilled for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, told reporters that his questioning centered around the goings on in the 14 year-old project. “I am not involved in the project anymore. It has changed hands. They (ED) are checking the relevant papers,” he said.

Both Unmesh and Shirodkar have been asked to join the probe again on Monday. Sources, meanwhile, said from the information ferretted out from the marathon questioning of Unmesh and Shirodkar in the last three days, the probe agency has prepared a set of questionnaire which Raj Thackeray will be confronted with, on Thursday.

Unmesh, Shirodkar and Thackeray had floated the Kohinoor CTNL company to develop the Kohinoor Square building on the now defunct Kohinoor Mills, No 3, at an estimated cost of Rs421 crore. IL&FS made an investment of Rs225 crore.

However, by 2008, IL&FS booked a loss and surrendered share for Rs90 crore, thus suffering a loss of Rs135 crore. Thackeray and Shirodkar meanwhile quit the firm after selling their shares in the same year, according to the ED probe.

Then in 2011, Kohinoor CTNL reached a deal to sell certain premises of the tower to IL&FS to settle the loan amount and again defaulted, the ED probe revealed.

The alleged deal came under spotlight after the ED took over a case lodged by the Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) alleging cheating and forgery by the IL&FS group and its managing committee between 2010 and 2018.

The charge sheet in the case was filed last week. ED sources said some officials of Kohinoor CTNL had earlier been quizzed by the agency earlier.

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