ED files charge sheet against ex-Maha MLA in money laundering probe

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against against former Maharashtra MLA Vivekanand Shankar Patil and Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd in connection with an Rs 560 crore money laundering probe, officials said.

An ED official here said that the agency filed a charge sheet against Patil, a four time Peasants and Workers Party MLA and also ex-Chairman of the Panvel-based cooperative bank, and against the bank under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED case of money-laundering is based on the FIR lodged by the Economic Offences Wing of Navi Mumbai police last year against 76 persons after the Reserve Bank of India detected the fraud following an audit.

The official said that the audit revealed that Patil was siphoning off funds since 2008 from the bank through 63 fictitious loan accounts to the loan accounts of Karnala Charitable Trust and Karnala Sports Academy, which were founded by him. It was found that management of the bank was under his control.

The ED arrested him on June 15 this year. The official said that the PMLA probe against Patil revealed that the defrauded amount was to the tune of approximately Rs 560 crore, including interest in respect of 67 fictitious accounts. He said that to hide the siphoning, the available funds were routed to these fictitious accounts and from these accounts to the several bank accounts of entities founded or controlled by Patil.

“These funds were utilised by the Karnala Charitable Trust, Karnala Sports Academy etc for construction of properties such as Sports Complex, College and Schools and for other personal gains, thereby using the proceeds of crime and projecting the same as un-tainted in contravention of offence of money laundering,” he added.