After hours of questioning, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday. Reports suggest he was arrested considering his non-cooperation related to Patra Chawl Scam and money laundering thereof. ED doubts that the Chawl scam is a pure case of money laundering where through Placement, Layering and Integration; the illegal money is being laundered in the White Market.
Placement of Money – A classic case of Money Laundering
For various real estate projects, Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) fraudulently took a Rs 6.700 crore loan from Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank. The huge amount of money that HDIL took was laundered, ultimately leading to the fall of PMC Bank.
Guru Aashish Constructions (GAC), a subsidiary company of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) had a contract with Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Patra Chawl Society for the redevelopment of Patra Chawl. The agreement also includes the construction of flats for nearly 672 common people.
However, the land allotted for the construction was sold to other developers for Rs 901.79 crore. Further, GAC had another project called Meadows, to develop. But, after taking Rs 138 crore advance money from home buyers they flew. Consequently, the total fraud committed by GAC, the subsidiary of HDIL, is about Rs 1039.79 crore.
Pravin Raut, one of the directors of the HDIL is a friend of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and is a key accused in this case. Pravin Raut had engulfed about Rs 100 crore from the Patra Chawl Scam and the ED arrested him in February. The wife of Pravin Raut had distributed lakhs of money to Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in an effort to launder the scammed money.
Reports suggest that in 2010, Madhuri Raut, wife of Pravin Raut, had transferred Rs 83 lakh to Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut. They bought a flat in Dadar with that money. Later, when the investigation started, Varsha Raut transferred an amount of Rs 55 lakh Madhuri Raut.
The Enforcement Directorate has revealed that Sanjay Raut has a deep connection with Pravin Raut. The directorate said that “Pravin Raut has also spent money from the Proceed of Crime on the domestic and foreign tours undertaken by the family of Sanjay Raut”.
Further, “Sanjay Raut has also received Rs 2 lakh per month in cash from Pravin Raut during the said period”, the ED added in the statement.
About eight plots at multiple locations have been found in the name of Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Sanjay Raut. Sujit Patkar has been closely associated with the Raut family as Sanjay Raut’s daughter is a partner of Patkar in a wine trading company.
Recently, a video clip of an abusive conversation between Sanjay Raut and Swapna Patkar went viral on social media.
Following this, an FIR has been registered against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut at the Vakola police station, under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace),506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), and 509 (Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC. She is the main witness in the Patra Chawl land scam. Sanjay Raut is alleged to be threatening her to withdraw her statement before the ED
Patra Chawl Redevelopment Scam is a classic example of Money Laundering. Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 defines money laundering in terms of combined proceeds of crime. This involves the connecting process of Placement, Layering, and Integration of black money into white money. Sanjay Raut seems to be the kingpin of this whole crime.
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