Maharashtra: ED Raids Premises Of Firm Linked To NCP MLA & Sharad Pawar's Grand Nephew Rohit Pawar

Maharashtra: ED Raids Premises Of Firm Linked To NCP MLA & Sharad Pawar's Grand Nephew Rohit Pawar

Clyde Crasto, the national spokesperson for NCP (Sharad Pawar faction), stated that the investigative searches by the central agency will not discourage Rohit Pawar.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Friday, January 05, 2024, 07:49 PM IST
article-image
Rohit Pawar with Sharad PAwar |

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted searches at the premises linked to Baramati Agro, a company belonging to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Rohit Pawar and grandnephew of Sharad Pawar, leader of an NCP faction. This action was taken in connection with its probe into an alleged money laundering case connected to Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank.

According to sources, the ED conducted searches at the premises of Kannad Sugar mill in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and two offices of Baramati Agro in Pimpri- Chinchwad and Pune. This investigation is part of the probe into the sale of Kannad Sahakari Sakhar Kharkana (SSK) to Baramati Agro.

The ED also conducted searches at the premises of Hitech Engineering Corporation India Ltd and Samruddhi Sugar pvt ltd, both of which participated in the auction of the Kannad SSK mill. Additionally, searches were carried out at the premises of Rajesh Ingavle, the director of Hi-tech Engineering Corporation India Ltd., as well as the premises of Sanjay Awate of the same company.

Alongside Baramati Agro, two other companies, including Hitech Engg. Corporation India Ltd and Samruddhi sugar private limited took part in the auction proceedings. Upon examining the bank accounts, it was discovered that on August 25, 2012, Hitech Engg. received an amount of Rs. 5 crores from Baramati Agro Ltd. Two days later, this sum was utilized by the firm as Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to participate in the auction for the sale of the Kannad SSK in question.

All the companies, linked entities, and individuals involved in the auction are currently under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED has found several irregularities in the sale of Kannad SSK.The money laundering investigation into Pawar's firm Baramati agro is related to charges of "diversion" of cash and the deposit of earnest payments by a company that bid on the purchase of an ailing Maharashtra-based cooperative sugar factory (CSF) Kannada Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK). The factory was taken over by Baramati Agro at ₹50 crores which is significantly undervalued price and suspected to be the result of a manipulated auction under the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank.

Supriya Sule, M.P. and daughter of Pawar Sr alleged that the ED action was "politically motivated." "The ruling BJP is using ICE (Income Tax, CBI, Enforcement Directorate) to target us," she alleged.

"We are not surprised,this is not the first time that this thing has happened, I have three (cousin) sisters and there were ED raids in their home too that continued for five days. This is unfortunate that my sisters were harassed earlier and now my brother (cousin) is being targeted. But, we are not afraid," Ms Sule asserted.

The MSCB scam case relates to loans given to sugar factories allegedly without following procedure by officials of the MSCB even after they turned into Non-Performing Assets and their subsequent sale to kin of the accused below market value.

The probe in the case was initiated after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the Bombay High Court into the alleged irregularities at the bank. An FIR was first registered by the Economic Offences Wing and the ED too filed a case of alleged money laundering in 2019.

Earlier, in April last year the central agency had filed its first chargesheet in the case against three- against three, Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd, Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd and chartered accountant Yogesh Bagrecha. The ED had alleged links of deputy CM Ajit Pawar and his wife to the two companies but they were not named then.

In August, 2023 the ED filed two supplementary chargesheets in connection with the MSCB case naming 11 more persons as accused, including NCP Sharad Pawar-led faction's MLA Prajakt Tanpure. The others named in the chargesheet include former NCP MLA Prasad Tanpure, Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena former MLA Arjun Khotkar and former Congress minister Ranjeet Deshmukh.Others include Subhash Deshmukh, industrialist Sameer Mulay and construction businessman Jugal Tapadia and many companies.

RECENT STORIES

Mumbai: Thousands Gather To Commemorate Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's Birth Anniversary At Chaitya Bhoomi

Mumbai: Thousands Gather To Commemorate Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's Birth Anniversary At Chaitya Bhoomi

Mumbai: Gamdevi Police Arrest Suspect From Pune In ₹5.29 Lakh Task Fraud Case

Mumbai: Gamdevi Police Arrest Suspect From Pune In ₹5.29 Lakh Task Fraud Case

Mumbai: Central Railway And D Mart Foundation Collaborate For Extensive Renovation Of CSMT's Public...

Mumbai: Central Railway And D Mart Foundation Collaborate For Extensive Renovation Of CSMT's Public...

Mumbai: Woman Arrested For Running Prostitution Racket In Dadar; 6 Rescued

Mumbai: Woman Arrested For Running Prostitution Racket In Dadar; 6 Rescued

Mira- Bhayandar: MBMC Collaborates With CEGP To Launch Innovation Cell For Civic Body

Mira- Bhayandar: MBMC Collaborates With CEGP To Launch Innovation Cell For Civic Body