The Enforcement Directorate has revealed that Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha repaid a Rs 55 lakhs of ‘friendly loan’ she had taken from a bank scam accused’s wife soon after the investigative agency summoned her to seek an explanation.
According to the reports, Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut submitted documents to the ED through a relative, claiming that she paid loans taken from the bank from funds generated from the film ‘Thackeray’ penned by her husband. Varsha was one of the producers of the movie. The interest-free loan was taken a decade ago.
Earlier, the ED, which is investigating money laundering case in the PMC Bank-HDIL loan scam, had issued her four summons from November last year. However, Varsha Raut had failed to present herself before the officials. On January 4, she finally appeared before the ED.
Varsha Raut was summoned by ED over the Rs 55 lakh transaction with the wife of another accused in the scam, Pravin Raut. It is believed to be the same transaction where she allegedly took a loan to buy a property.
PMC scam and Raut’s link to the irregularities
The Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank is one of the largest cooperative banks, which was put under scrutiny by the Reserve Bank for fraud and misreporting of bad loans. Later, the bank had admitted that one large account, HDIL was the main reason for the current crisis.
The ED is investigating a money laundering case based on an FIR lodged by city police’s Economic Offences Wing against Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), PMC Bank chairman Waryam Singh and its managing director Joy Thomas, and others for causing a loss of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank and making gains for themselves.
The HDIL has been accused of siphoning off Rs 95 crore of PMC Bank’s loan funds through Pravin Raut, who is a former director of Guruashish Constructions, an HDIL subsidiary. Recently, the ED had also attached Pravin Raut’s assets worth Rs 72 crore.
According to ED, Pravin Raut paid Rs 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri from the proceeds. Out of this money, Madhuri had 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 used by Varsha Raut to buy a flat in Dadar (East).
Varsha Raut had financial links with the accused
The investigation further revealed that Varsha and Madhuri are partners in another firm – Avani Construction. Varsha had reportedly received Rs 12 lakh from this entity as a loan on a contribution of a mere Rs 5,625. The loan amount of Rs 12 lakh is still outstanding, according to the ED.
During the interrogation, the ED has reportedly asked Varsha Raut to provide them with details of companies where she was a joint partner along with Madhuri. However, it has been now revealed that Varsha has sent those documents to the ED through a relative.
“The officials are examining the submitted document and accordingly will decide if there is a need to call Varsha again for a further statement,” said an official.
The ED is also inquiring about a former Shiv Sena MP whose association received Rs 1 crore from PMC Bank and the role of a heavyweight politician in the extended suburbs whose trust received over Rs 1,000 crore from HDIL. The money was defrauded from PMC Bank.