The Enforcement Directorate on Friday raided some premises linked to a Maharashtra MLA in connection with its money laundering probe in the alleged Rs 4,300 crore PMC Bank fraud case, official sources said. They said at least five premises linked to Viva Group, promoted by Bahujan Vikas Agadhi (BVA) party chief and MLA Hitendra Thakur, are being searched in the Vasai-Virar area of Palghar district adjoining state capital Mumbai.
Some premises in Mumbai are also being covered, sources said. Purported fund diversions by the HDIL, an accused company in the case, and by some others to the Viva Group are under the scanner of the agency and the raids are aimed at collecting more evidence to prove this alleged link, they said.
Thakur’s party had pledged the support of its 3 MLAs, that includes his legislator son Kshitij Thakur from Nalasopara assembly seat and Rajesh Patil (from the Boisar seat),to theMaha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The NCP and Congress are also part of the MVA.
The ED had earlier questioned Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, for alleged transfer of Rs 55 lakh suspect funds as “interest free loan” into her account by Madhuri Raut, the wife of another accused in the case Pravin Raut. It had filed a criminal case of money laundering to probe the alleged loan fraud in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank in October, 2019 against Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), its promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, his son Sarang Wadhawan, its former chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas.
It took cognisance of a Mumbai Police economic offences wing FIR against them that charged them with causing “wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank, and corresponding gains to themselves”.