Trouble has mounted for Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut as Enforcement Directorate conducted mega raids at his ‘Maitri’ residence at Mumbai’s Bhandup in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case.
A team of 12 Enforcement Directorate officials reached Sanjay Raut’s house at around 7 AM for conducting searches. As per sources, the Sena leader is being questioned by the agency sleuths in connection with the money laundering case.
The raids came a day after the Sena MP skipped two summons issued by the agency which is probing a PMLA case related to the alleged Patra Chawl land scam. On Wednesday, Raut submitted an application for an exemption citing the campaign for the upcoming Vice Presidential elections.
The summons issued to the Shiv Sena leader was in connection with Rs.1,034 crore land scam case which pertains to the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl and related transactions involving his wife and other associates. While businessman Pravin Raut was arrested in this case in February, the ED attached 8 land parcels in Alibaug and a flat in Mumbai’s Dadar linked to Sanjay Raut on April 5.
The Sena leader has denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he is being targeted due to political vendetta. Raut is a loyalist of former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who was recently forced out of office following a rebellion and split in the party. The Rajya Sabha MP was questioned in the case on July 1. He spent about 10 hours with the investigating officer during which his statement was recorded under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In April, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.15 crore of Raut’s wife Varsha Raut, and two of his associates as part of its probe. The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut’s aide and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited, at Palghar, Saphale (a town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).
The properties also include a flat in Mumbai suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at the Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a “close associate” of Sanjay Raut, the ED had said. The agency wants to question Sanjay Raut to know about his “business and other links” with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife.