Aaditya Thackeray’s close aide’s properties attached in khichdi scam

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken action by temporarily attaching immovable properties valued at Rs 88.51 lakh belonging to Suraj Chavan, a close associate of Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. This action is part of the investigation into the BMC ‘Khichdi’ scam case.

The investigation was initiated based on preliminary inquiries by the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police and an FIR filed by the Agripada Police Station, Mumbai, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code 1860.

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Among the properties attached are a residential flat in Mumbai and a parcel of agricultural land in Ratnagiri district. Chavan’s arrest in January stemmed from revelations of financial misappropriation during the Covid lockdown, specifically in the distribution of khichdi to migrant laborers.

It was found that the food packets, meant to be 250 grams each, were only filled with 125 grams by the contractors. Chavan was implicated in securing work orders for M/s Force One Multi Services, bypassing BMC/MCGM eligibility criteria. In exchange, he allegedly received Rs. 1.35 crore from the proceeds of the scam.

This illicit income was purportedly obtained by Chavan through a combination of salary and loans from M/s Force One Multi Services, which he then used to purchase the attached properties in Mumbai and Ratnagiri.

On January 17, Chavan was arrested for his involvement in money laundering and is currently in judicial custody. The Enforcement Directorate filed a prosecution complaint against him before the special PMLA court in Mumbai on March 15.

Separately, the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offenses Wing registered a case in September 2023 against individuals associated with Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, including Sujit Patkar, Sunil alias Bala Kadam, and Rajiv Salunkhe of Sahyadri Refreshments, in connection with the ‘Khichdi’ scam.

The irregularities in the contract for distributing ‘Khichdi’ are estimated to be around Rs 6.37 crore, as per Mumbai Police. Allegations suggest that the accused did not fulfill the quantities specified in the challan. Khichdi is a dish made by boiling rice and pulses.

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