Shirodkar given questionnaire in Kohinoor Square tower probe

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has allegedly asked developer Rajendra Shirodkar, partner in Matoshree Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, to come prepared with answers to a set of questionnaire on the next date of his appearance before the probe agency on Wednesday.

Emerging out of ED's Ballard Pier office on Monday evening, after more than seven hours of questioning, Shirodkar said, “They (ED) have given me a set of four to five questions, asking me to come with clarifications on the next date of the probe. Since there is a puja at my residence on Tuesday, I told them I will report on Wednesday,” he said. Though Shirodkar refused to divulge the contents of the questionnaire, it is learnt that those pertain to the financial involvement of Matoshree Infrastructure Pvt Ltd in the Dadar Kohinoor Square tower project, before they withdrew in 2008.

ED sources said that Shirodkar was confronted with questions prepared on the basis of the information ferreted out of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who was questioned last week. While Shirodkar answered some of them, he has sought time for the rest, sources added. Raj Thackeray is the other partner in Matoshree Infra.

Shirodkar told The Free Press Journal, Matoshree Infra had invested Rs 40 crore in the project, amid reports that the company had earned Rs 80 crore while withdrawing in 2008. This is in the backdrop of reports that IL&FS, which had invested Rs 225 crore in the project, had taken a hit of Rs 90 crore while surrendering its shares in the same year.

Shirodkar, along with former chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh, were questioned for the third and fourth consecutive time, respectively, in connection with the ongoing Kohinoor Square tower payment default probe in the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) alleged money laundering case.

While the next date of Shirodkar’s questioning has been fixed on Wednesday, Joshi said the agency has told him that he will be intimated about his next questioning “over telephone” later.

In 2005, Raj Thackeray along with Shirodkar and Unmesh had floated a company to construct the skyscraper on the erstwhile Kohinoor Mill No 3. IL&FS had invested Rs 225 crore in the venture.

Despite Thackeray, Shirodkar and IL&FS' exit in 2008, Unmesh continued with the project till 2017 before it changed hands. By then, the cumulative loan default payment suffered by IL&FS is said to have gone up to Rs 860 crore.

The alleged deal came under the spotlight after ED took over a case registered by the Delhi Police's 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 that some officials of Kohinoor CTNL had earlier been quizzed by the agency.

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