Facing investigation in connection with a money laundering case, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik on Wednesday failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate. Instead of Sarnaik, his lawyer turned up at the ED office with a letter to inform them that Pratap is unwell and hence would not be able to join the probe.
The Shiv Sena legislator has sought more time to appear before the ED. Earlier too, on December 22, Pratap Sarnaik had evaded ED summons when he was asked by the agency to cooperate in the Rs 175 crore money laundering case pertaining to a private security firm named Top Group.
Subsequently, fresh summons to his sons- Purvesh Sarnaik and Vihang Sarnaik asking the siblings to appear before the agency on December 23 (Wednesday).
While Vihang attended the probe and was questioned by the agency for over five hours regarding the money exchange between the officials of Top Grup and some confidantes of his fathers, Purvesh failed to appear before the agency citing ill-health. Vihang was also questioned for over five hours on November 24 during the raids on the premises of Sarnaik’s house and the private firm.
The Shiv Sena is facing an investigation by the ED in relation with the Rs 175 crore money laundering case against Top Grup promoters alongside his son Vihang and brother-in-law who got preliminary relief from the court last month. The apex court in its order stated that no coercive action is to be taken against the petitioners.
Enforcement Directorate raids Pratap Sarnaik’s residences; Uddhav Thackeray defends his party member
The Enforcement Directorate had in November 2020 raided the residences and official premises of the Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik in connection with a money laundering case involving the Shiv Sena MLA. The search was conducted at 10 places across Mumbai and Thane with the links to the aforementioned Shiv Sena leader. Subsequently, the agency arrested Sarnaik’s close aide in connection with a money laundering case linked to the legislator.
A day after the raid, the Shiv Sena chief come out in defence of his loyalist, calling the action taken by the agency against Sarnaik’s family ‘pervert politics’. Thackeray alleged that Sarnaik’s family was being targeted by the ED.
A Pakistani credit card was recovered from Sarnaik’s house registered on his address
For the unversed, on December 12, a credit card registered under the name of a Pakistani national was recovered from the premises of Sarnaik. The credit card was registered on his address.