Mumbai: In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate on Friday conducted searches on premises of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi chief Hitendra Thakur-owned Viva group. The ED searches are being conducted in the money laundering probe in connection with the Yes Bank and PMC Bank Scam.
According to reports, the raids are also being carried out at five other places in Mira Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar areas. The ED has traced the money trail between Pravin Raut and Thakur family. Pravin Raut was in the news recently for transferring Rs 55-lakh to Varsha Raut, wife of Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut, through his wife, Madhuri.
It is alleged that HDIL had siphoned off Rs 95 crore of PMC Bank’s loan funds through Pravin Raut, who is a former director of Guruashish Constructions, an HDIL subsidiary. Pravin Raut paid Rs 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri from the proceeds. Out of this money, Madhuri transferred Rs 55 lakh (Rs 50 lakh on December 23, 2010, and Rs 5 lakh on March 15, 2011) as an interest-free loan to Varsha. The amount was allegedly further utilised for purchase of a flat in Dadar (East).
The investigation further revealed that Varsha and Madhuri are partners in Avani Construction. Varsha had reportedly received Rs 12 lakh from this entity (as overdrawn capital converted to a loan) on a contribution of a mere Rs 5,625. The loan amount of Rs 12 lakh is still outstanding. The ED attached Pravin Raut’s assets worth Rs 72 crore.
The NCB, in two days’ raids in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, seized drugs, weapons, two high-end cars and Rs 2.1 crore. Pravin Raut has been a director in an infrastructure company called Guruashish constructions that is stated to be a subsidiary of the HDIL (Housing Development Infrastructure Limited), an accused firm in this case.
Meanwhile, after the controversy, Raut’s wife Varsha reportedly repaid Rs 55 lakh interest-free loan taken a decade ago last week.