The Enforcement Directorate told a special court in Mumbai that Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had used a huge amount of cash, received as proceeds of crime, to purchase land in Alibaug’s Kihim. The probe agency further said that the purchase had been confirmed by some of the sellers.
According to a report in Times of India, the statements of two of the five sellers, whose names had appeared in the documents reflecting the infusion of cash at Raut’s residence, were recorded before the ED on August 5. They accepted that they received the exact amount mentioned in the document, the ED added.
Meanwhile, another corporator is also on the ED’s radar after Raut’s arrest. Sources said that the corporator will be summoned soon in the Goregaon Patra Chawl land scam case. However, the probe agency has withheld the name, which emerged in dealings related to Praveen Raut and Sanjay Raut in the scam. ED likely to summon the corporator and call him for inquiry.
The court sent Sanjay Raut to 14-day judicial custody till August 22 in the money laundering case. After the court order, Raut was taken to Arthur Road jail in cntral Mumbai, officials said. A police vehicle carrying Raut reached the jail in the evening.
Former Maharashtra ministers Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, arrested in money laundering cases, are also lodged in the same jail.
The probe agency argued that the release of Raut at this stage will hamper the investigation as he is a very influential person and it is feared that he may tamper with the evidence.
The court allowed Raut’s plea for home food and medicines but refused to pass an order on his prayer for bedding. The judge said as per the prison manual, jail authorities make adequate bed arrangements.
The ED, which had arrested the Sena Rajya Sabha member on August 1, said in its application in the court that during custodial interrogation, Raut did not explain his involvement in the alleged crime. The release of the accused at this stage will hamper the investigation, the probe agency said.
Raut, 60, was arrested by the ED in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl (row tenement) in suburban Goregaon. The ED said during a custodial interrogation that Raut did not explain his involvement which was within his exclusive knowledge, and gave evasive replies.
Speaking to reporters outside the Arthur Road jail, Raut’s brother Sunil Raut, a Shiv Sena MLA, said the MP has been brought to the jail. Sanjay Raut has been allowed home food, he said. “We will discuss with our lawyers and decide about filing a bail application,” said Sunil Raut. He said his brother is an honest person and the loyal sainik of Balasaheb Thackeray who would not kneel before anybody.