Times of India | 5 days ago | 05-08-2022 | 05:01 am
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut used an additional Rs 1.17 crore of proceeds from crime for purchasing land at Alibaug, while his wife Varsha received Rs 1.08 crore into her bank account, the ED informed the PMLA court on Thursday. The Rauts also received Rs 1.06 crore from Pravin Raut, a key accused in the Patra Chawl redevelopment case, the ED told the court. While seeking eight-day extension of the Rajya Sabha MP's custody, the ED said his replies about the transactions have so far been evasive. The court extended his custody till August 8 and said "remarkable progress" had been made in the probe. Raut was arrested on Monday. The agency has also summoned his wife to record her statement in the case on Friday. Bulk of money in Raut wife's a/c traced to Patra chawl case: ED The ED, in the Sanjay Raut case, is in the process of recording statements of those who received cash payments from him for the Alibaug land he is alleged to have purchased using payoffs from a developer linked to the Mhada project. Those who deposited funds into his wife's account are also being questioned. The ED has called those associated with the Alibaug land deal to record their statements on Friday and Saturday. The ED informed the court that "the names of the persons are not disclosed in this (Raut's) remand application so that the persons are not influenced by the accused." The ED alleged that these "documents demonstrate...purchase of the properties in Alibaug and substantial cash transactions with the land owners." The agency has also alleged that Raut threatened landowners near Kihim beach in Alibaug to sell their land to him. The ED has summoned Varsha Raut for questioning because a bulk of monies deposited into her account have been traced to Pravin Raut, who is a key accused in the Patra chawl redevelopment case. The Sena spokesman's remand application says, "When the investigation pertaining to several bank accounts were conducted in presence of Sanjay Raut it has been revealed that several amounts have been received in the account of Varsha Raut.." Raut gave evasive answers for the reason as to why these huge amounts were paid to his wife, the ED alleged. The ED is examining the KYC documents and statements of the respective bank accounts. The ED was represented by special public prosecutors Hiten Venegaonkar and Kavita Patil. Granting the agency custody until Monday, special judge MG Deshpande said that "remarkable progress" has been made in the investigations. The judge said the trail of payments of Rs 1.17 crore and 1.08 crore was not before the court when it had earlier restricted the remand of accused till Thursday. "Considering the facts that some more amounts have been revealed and also the table filed along with bank statements by ED pointing out further trails, there is remarkable progress in the investigation. Contention of senior counsel for accused is not justified (opposing further remand) because investigation in PMLA cases is peculiar," the court said. The judge further said that the ED has to investigate the source of dirty money and how the same was inserted in the system. "Secondly ED has to investigate how the proceeds are separated from their criminal origin by moving them through a series of transactions making it harder to establish connection between them. Thirdly, there has to be a legitimate source of funds allowing them to retain and use and acquire goods amounting to integration. Certainly, facts of investigation demonstrate three stages, and they require further probe, by summoning witnesses and confronting accused," the judge said. Senior counsel Manoj Mohite representing Raut argued that there were no new allegations made against the Sena MP in the remand plea. He further submitted that the same questions were put up to Raut both during his custody and when he was summoned earlier. "At the moment there is no genuine need for custody demonstrated. Investigations can be carried out independently without him being custody. All his properties are disclosed to Parliament as he is an MP. He has also filed his income tax returns," Mohite submitted.
New Delhi: With Rakshan Bandhan falling on August 11 as well as on August 12 according to the Hindu calendar, some states and Union Territories have declared a holiday on either of the two days while the rest have kept them as normal days.Moreover, August 13 is the second Saturday of the month, an official holiday in many places, and August 15, Monday, is Independence Day and a national holiday.Hence, a long weekend is approaching. For those looking for banking and related services, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a state/union-wise list of bank holidays in the coming days.Here is the list-The banks will remain closed on Monday in the national capital and neighbouring Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.With Rakshan Bandhan marked as a holiday on Friday in Uttar Pradesh, the banks will remain closed on Friday and Monday.In Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, Monday is a bank holiday.Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are celebrating Rakshan Bandhan on Thursday. The banks will remain closed on Thursday and Monday in these states.In Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, Monday is a bank holiday.Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram have a bank holiday on Monday while the banks will remain closed in Manipur on Saturday (Patriot’s Day) and Monday.In Maharashtra, Monday and Tuesday (Parsi New Year) are bank holidays.The data of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland is not available in the list.
REFERRING TO the Supreme Court’s observations in its recent decision upholding the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a special court, in an interim order on Monday, said that a PMLA case cannot continue if there is no scheduled offence against the accused. The special court referred to the Apex court’s order, which said that in the event a person named in a criminal offence is absolved by a court, there can be no action for money laundering against such a person.In the recent past, there have been a few cases, where scheduled offences have been closed or the person’s discharge plea accepted – a fact that is likely to affect the ED’s case in light of the top court order.In one of the most recent orders, a special court, last month, accepted a closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against bank officials of Union Bank of India and certain private firms, including Pushpak Bullions Private Limited, in a 2017 case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed the CBI closure report, absolving all the accused, but the court accepted the agency’s report that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations that cash to the tune of Rs 84.6 crore was fraudulently shown in a current account of a bank account by fabricating records. The ED case is pending before the special PMLA court with hearing pending in the discharge pleas of the accused. In March, the ED had provisionally attached 11 residential flats of Pushpak Bullions at a real estate project developed by Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited, a company promoted by Shridhar Madhav Patankar, the brother of Rashmi Thackeray, wife of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.Last year, a special court designated for trials of MPs and MLAs discharged Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister and then Maharashtra cabinet minister Chhagan Bhujbal from the Maharashtra Sadan case, which was being investigated by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Based on this scheduled offence, the ED had registered a separate complaint and arrested Bhujbal in 2016 where he remained for over two years before being granted bail. Discharge applications by the accused in the ED case are pending.In 2020, a closure report was filed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), giving a clean chit to 74 persons it was probing, including NCP minister and then deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) alleged fraud case. The ED had then sought to intervene in the proceedings to oppose the plea, which the court had rejected stating that it cannot intervene in the probe of another agency. The hearing on protest petitions filed by other parties is pending before court after which a decision on whether the closure report can be accepted will be taken.In 2021, a closure report was also filed in a cheating case filed by the Mumbai police against Jet Airways, its founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita. Even as the ED opposed it, the court had accepted the report.In the case heard on Monday, a closure report in a case linked to Omkar Realtors was accepted by a local court in Aurangabad. The accused referred to the case, pleading that the PMLA case against them does not stand. The ED sought time to respond to the plea that had cited the Supreme Court’s order. The special court will pass a final order on the plea by the accused after hearing both sides.
MUMBAI: A 41-year-old lawyer who had ordered a home appliance on an e-commerce portal was duped of Rs 1.57 lakh by a cyberfraudster posing as a deliveryman from the e-commerce company. Malwani police have registered an FIR under the IPC and Information Technology Act and are looking for the fraudster. The lawyer resides with her family at Malwani. On July 2, she had placed an order on the portal for a washing machine to be delivered at her home town in Shrivardhan, Raigad. She wanted the machine to be delivered before July 12 and was frequently following up with the company to make haste with the delivery. On July 8, at around 11am, when the advocate was at home she received a phone call. The caller introduced himself as Manish Kumar and said he was a delivery boy with the e-commerce portal that she had ordered from. He told her that her address was not updated with the portal which would cause a problem with the product delivery. The lawyer believed him. He then instructed her to make a payment of Rs 3 as processing fees for updating her address. A link was sent to her for making the payment. After filling up details in the link and making the payment, the lawyer got busy with housework. Later in the day, she checked her phone and noticed text messages from her bank about debit transactions from her account. Soon texts came from two other banks-- one of them in Shrivardhan-- where she held savings bank accounts. In six transactions, she lost Rs 1.57 lakh from three bank accounts. The lawyer tried to contact the delivery boy, hoping that there was a technical error and the money would be refunded. She eventually approached the Malwani police station on August 5 and registered a complaint of cheating.
MUMBAI: The south region cyber police station recently arrested three persons, who acted as accomplices in a man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyber attack, cheating a business company of Rs 1 crore. The primary accused created a fake email ID, similar to that of a reputed company which deals in construction and technology, and sent an email to their client posing as the company and asked to deposit Rs 1 crore in two other bank accounts. "One day the complainant company (client), which deals with the buying of scrap materials and had got a contract for buying scrap, received an email from the 'seller company' stating that it should send Rs 1 crore to two other accounts that allegedly belonged to the seller company," said a senior officer. Since the primary mode of communication between the two companies was through electronic communication, the buyer company transferred the said amount. In an earlier instance,the had already transferred Rs 4 crore and got the scrap material for it. "When the buyer company did not get the scrap even after transferring money, it contacted the seller company's office and asked them about it. The seller company said it did not receive the money. This is when the buyer company approached the bank and was shocked to see that the two accounts did not belong to the original seller company. They then lodged a complaint," said ACP Ramchandra Lotlikar, who led the investigation. The cyber team comprising SPI Devraj Borse, PSI Shweta Dhok and PC Madhukar Lohar found out that Rs 50 lakh was transferred to an individual, Bhumeshwar Sharma's bank account while other Rs 50 lakh was transferred to a company, Ashok Enerprises' account in Jaipur. Probing the money trail, cops arrested three accused, Bhumeshwar Sharma, 52, an auto driver, Hemant Soya, 44, a marketing executive, and Abhay Patiwar, 43. We managed to freeze Rs 39 lakh in the Jaipur company's account," said police.
MUMBAI: The Malabar Hill police on Saturday arrested three persons from the Delhi-Hapur highway for siphoning off Rs 4.64 lakh from a 49-year-old woman’s credit card. Posing as a private bank’s executive and, on the pretext of helping the complainant to update her KYC details, the accused took control of her net banking, got a virtual card issued, and cheated her. The accused used the virtual credit card to fill petrol and get cash from petrol pumps. Those arrested were Salman Khan, Sharique Khan and Irfan Khan, all in their mid-20s and school drop-outs. They have been remanded in police custody till August 10. The complainant told the police that she had received a call from a person who introduced himself as a private bank’s executive and asked her to update her bank’s KYC details. “The caller told the woman that she could come to their branch or he can also help her doing it online. He then collected her bank cards and net banking details. The caller also took OTP from the complainant and used it to change the net banking password. Later, he changed her registered email ID and sent message to the credit card’s bank stating her credit card had gone missing. The bank then blocked the credit card. The accused meanwhile got a virtual card issued,” said police. “ Our team got the three accused and we are further probing the case,” said zonal DCP Neeltopal. A team supervised by SPI Rajan Rane and led by API Nilesh Bankar laid a trap on the Delhi-Hapur and apprehended the trio while they were travelling in a car. “The same set of accused is also involved in another case. Moreover, there is another online cheating case against one of the accused registered at the Matunga police station,” said Bankar. Police focused on tracing the money trail which helped it to nab the accused. Investigators said that using the virtual credit card, the accused had filled petrol from three petrol pumps and even got cash after swiping the card at different petrol pumps. Investigators have collected CCTV footage from pumps, seized five mobile phones and six ATM cards from the accused.