The Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued a lookout circular against businessman Jitendra Navlani, who is accused of accepting over Rs 58.96 crore from various private companies by using the names of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials.
Reacting to the development, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who had made allegations that Navlani has extorted crores of rupees from builders and businessmen at the behest of ED officials, sought to know if the accused has fled the country, and said that in case he has done so, then "some powerful people" have helped him escape.
"The ACB has issued the lookout circular against Navlani," an official said on Thursday.
The action came days after the ACB registered an FIR against Navlani and others under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for collecting money from various businessmen by using names of the ED officials.
"After the registration of the FIR, Navlani went untraceable and also did not respond to the summons issued by the ACB, following which the agency issued a LOC (lookout circular) against him," the official said.
The FIR, registered in the first week of May, said that Navlani had collected around Rs 58.96 crore between 2015 and 2021. Navlani, a resident of Colaba Causeway in south Mumbai, and others used the names of ED officials and accepted money from various private companies as consultancy fees or unsecured loans through shell companies, the ACB had earlier claimed.
They allegedly promised these firms to help them in their dealings with the government, it said.
In March, Sanjay Raut had alleged that Navlani has extorted crores of rupees from builders and businessmen at the behest of ED officials.
Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Raut said, "The ACB has registered a case against Navlani and a probe has also begun. The EOW has started a probe against him. If he has fled, then there is some powerful force which has helped him flee the country." "Have the powerful people helped him flee?" the Sena leader asked.