In September 2019, the ED had registered a case of money laundering against NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar in connection with an alleged Rs 25,000-crore scam at the MSC Bank.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached land, machinery and buildings worth Rs 65.75 crore of Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana (Jarandeshwar SSK) in Satara, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case related to alleged fraud at Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank.
In September 2019, a month before Assembly polls in Maharashtra, the ED had registered a case of money laundering against NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar, now the state deputy CM, in connection with an alleged Rs 25,000-crore scam at the MSC Bank.
The ED probe has alleged that MSCB sold Jarandeshwar SSK in 2010 through an auction without following rules at a lower price than fair value. At that time, Ajit Pawar was on the board of the bank.
The ED said Jarandeshwar SSK was purchased by Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd and was immediately leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, where Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd, a company linked to Ajit Pawar and his wife Sunetra Ajit Pawar, is a majority shareholder.
“The major part of the funds utilised towards purchase of the said SSK was received from Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, which received the same from Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd, a company related to Ajit Pawar and his wife,” said the ED.
The ED has alleged that Guru Commodity Services is a “dummy company” used to acquire Jarandeshwar SSK.
“Further, Jarandeshwar SSK has been used as a vehicle by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills for obtaining loan to the tune of Rs 700 crore (approx.) from Pune District Central Co-operative Bank & Ors during the period from the year 2010 till date,” said the ED.
The case pertaining to the alleged fraud at MSC Bank originates from a criminal PIL filed on January 28, 2019, before Bombay High Court. The PIL alleged that the then top executives, i.e. Chairman, MDs, Directors, CEOs and managerial staff of MSC Bank, and office-bearers and directors of Sakhar Karkhanas, Soot Girnis and other processing units, were given loans in a fraudulent manner by MSC Bank.
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