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Enforcement Directorate arrests former Maharashtra MLA in money-laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested former Maharashtra MLA Vivekanand S Patil in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged fraud of over ₹512 crore in a Panvel-located cooperative bank, officials said on Wednesday.

They said Patil, 66, was arrested by the Central probe agency around 8.15 p.m. on Tuesday after his questioning at the ED office in Ballard Estate area in Mumbai.

The ex-MLA from the Peasants and Workers Party was arrested under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is expected to be produced before a local court for further custody, they said.

The ED money-laundering case is based on an FIR registered against him and about 75 others in February last year by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Navi Mumbai police that alleged irregularities to the tune of ₹512.54 crore in the Karnala Nagari Sahakari (cooperative) Bank that is headquartered in Panvel in the neighbouring Raigad district.

Police had named Patil, the former chairman of the cooperative bank who represented the Panvel Assembly constituency in the past, as an accused along with the vice-chairman, chief executive officer and several others who had obtained loans from the institution.

The irregularities were revealed after an inspection of the bank’s operations by the Reserve Bank of India led to a special audit of the lender’s 17 branches, police said.

The RBI later had restricted withdrawals at ₹500 per depositor across all accounts.

The police had pressed charges like criminal breach of trust, cheating among others under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Cooperative Societies Act and the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act in its FIR.

The bank is stated to have been established in 1996 under the Cooperative Bank Act after Vivekanand Patil received a licence from the RBI.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 5:13:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/enforcement-directorate-arrests-former-maharashtra-mla-in-money-laundering-case/article34827633.ece

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