The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday attached a sugar mill worth over ₹65 crores under the anti-money laundering law in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, said the ED.
ED adds a company linked to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his wife is involved in the case.
The assets are currently held in the name of Guru Commodity Services Pvt. Ltd. and leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.
“Sparkling Soil Pvt. Ltd. is holding majority shares of Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd. Investigation has revealed that Sparkling Soil Pvt. Ltd. is a related company to Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister of State of Maharashtra and Sunetra Ajit Pawar,” said the ED in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar told that he did not get any notice from the Enforcement Directorate. He also denied knowledge about the attachment of Jarendeshwar Sugar Mill in the Satara district by the probe agency.
The ED had initiated its investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based upon an FIR registered by the Economic Offence Wing of Mumbai Police in 2019.
According to Enforcement Directorate Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank conducted an auction of Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Mill at an undervalued price and without following the due procedure in the year 2010.
“Ajit Pawar was one of the prominent and influential members of the Board of Directors of MSCB at the relevant time. The Sahkari Sugar Karkhana was purchased by Guru Commodity Services Pvt. Ltd. and was immediately leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd., which is presently operating the Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana,” the ED said.
According to a statement by Enforcement Directorate, the major part of funds utilized towards the purchase of the said Sahkari Sugar Karkhana 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 investigators have allegedly found that Guru Commodity Services Pvt. Ltd. (a dummy company) was used to acquire the Sahkari Sugar Karkhana and the sugar mill was actually controlled and run by M/s Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.
“Further, the SSK has been used as a vehicle by Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills for obtaining a loan to the tune of Rs 700 crore from Pune District Central Cooperative Bank and others during the period from the year 2010 till date. Thus, the assets held in the name of Guru Commodity Services Pvt. Ltd. (leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.) in the form of Land, Building & Structure, Plant & Machinery of Jarandeshwar SSK, being proceeds of crime, the same has been provisionally attached under PMLA,” the ED said.