NEW DELHI : A sugar mill that is worth more ₹65 crore were seized under the anti-money laundering law in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, the Enforcement Directorate said on Thursday and added that a company linked to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his wife is involved in the case.
An interim order has been issued under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the seizure of the land, building, structure, factory and machinery of Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana (Jarandeshwar SSK) located at Chimangaon-Koregaon in Satara district. .
The total value of assets is ₹65.75 crore which was the purchase price of the property in 2010, said the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).
“The assets are currently held in the name of Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd (a purported shell company) and leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd,” he said.
“Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd owns the majority of shares in Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills and investigations have revealed that the former company is linked to Ajit Pawar, Chief Deputy Minister of Maharashtra and Sunetra Ajit Pawar (his wife),” said the general manager in a press release.
The PMLA case is based on a 2019 FIR from the Economic Crimes Wing of the Mumbai Police (EOW) which alleged that SSK was fraudulently sold by then MSCB officials and directors at disposable prices to their customers. own parents and private persons “without following” due process prescribed by law SARFAESI.
SARFAESI stands for Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement pf Security Interest Act and under its provisions banks can sell real estate assets to collect loans.
The FIR EOW was filed by order of the Bombay High Court.
The ED said the MSCB conducted an auction of Jarandeshwar SSK in 2010 at an “undervalued price” and without following due process.
“Ajit Pawar was one of the prominent and influential members of the board of directors of MSCB at the material time,” he said.
“SSK was purchased by Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd and was immediately leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, which currently operates Jarandeshwar SSK,” said the managing director.
The “major part” of the funds used for the purchase of 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, the agency claimed to have thus linked the NCP politician to the case.
He added that the adjoining sugar mill was “actually controlled and managed” by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd.
“SSK was used as a vehicle by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills to obtain a loan of approximately ₹700 crore from Pune District Central Cooperative Bank and others from 2010 to date, ”the managing director said. “So the assets held in the name of Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd (leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd) are proceeds of crime,” it said.
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