Tracing the money trail in the Patra Chawl redevelopment case, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers are going to interrogate Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut extensively about a flat in Dadar, owned by his wife Varsha and eight plots of land at Alibaug, jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the estranged wife of Raut aide Sujit Patkar. The ED’s probe had revealed that in 2010, part of the proceeds of crime, amounting to Rs 83 lakh, were received by Varsha Raut directly/ indirectly from Madhuri Raut, the wife of Pravin Raut (already arrested in the case). This amount was allegedly utilised by Varsha Raut to purchase a flat at Dadar. Interestingly, ED officers have claimed that after the initiation of ED investigation, an amount of Rs 55 lakh was transferred by Varsha Raut to Madhuri Raut.
The ED has initiated investigation under the PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered against M/s Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL), Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Sarang Kumar Wadhawan and others, on the basis of a complaint filed by an executive engineer of the MHADA in March 2018, relating to irregularities in the Patra Chawl redevelopment project at Goregaon by the GACPL and others.
In April this year, the ED had provisionally attached immovable properties totalling Rs 11.15 crore, invoking PMLA provisions in the case. The attached assets were in the form of lands held by Pravin Raut, the former director of GACPL at Palghar, Saphale and Padga, and the Dadar flat of Varsha Raut and plots at Kihim beach, Alibaug.
Investigation had revealed that the GACPL was entrusted with the development of Patra Chawl project for the rehabilitation of 672 tenants. At this time, Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan and Pravin Raut were directors at the GACPL. A tripartite agreement was signed between the society, MHADA and GACPL. According to the agreement, the developer would provide flats to 672 tenants and develop flats for MHADA and thereafter, the remaining area was to be sold by the developer. The directors of the GACPL allegedly misled MHADA and managed to sell the FSI to nine developers, collecting approximately Rs 901.79 crore without constructing either the rehab portion for the 672 displaced tenants or MHADA, the ED probe had revealed.
Further, the GACPL had also launched a project, Meadows, collecting a booking amount of around Rs 138 crore from flat buyers. The total proceeds of crime allegedly generated by the directors of the GACPL through illegal activities was approximately Rs 1,039.79 crore. A portion of the proceeds of crime was further transferred to close associates, ED officers have claimed.
“Investigation of the money trail has revealed that around Rs 100 crore were transferred from the HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut. This amount was further diverted by Pravin Raut to various accounts of his close associates, family members, his business entities etc. We will be questioning Sanjay Raut with regard to these properties and the proceeds of crime received thereof,” said an ED officer.