The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted inquires at offices and an educational institute run by Shiv Sena MP Bhavana Gawali and her family members in connection with a money laundering case.
The ED is probing the money laundering case against a trust which was allegedly converted into a company through fraudulent measures. The trust is run by Bhavana Gawali’s family members.
A team of ED officials reached Washim district in Maharashtra on Tuesday morning and questioned various officials at the educational institute and the trust’s office.
ED officials had arrested Saeed Khan, a close aide of Bhavana Gawali, on September 28. Saeed Khan was the director of a firm named Mahila Utkarsh Pratisthan along with Gawali’s mother, Shalinitai Gawali.
The firm was constituted in 2019. Earlier, this firm was a trust where Bhavana Gawali and her mother Shalinitai were members.
ED officials suspect forgery was done at the Charity Commissioner’s office to convert the trust into a company. The firm is suspected to have been used for fraud and siphoning off funds.
According to sources, irregularities of around Rs 17 crore were found in the trust that is linked to Bhavana Gawali.
A social worker identified as Harish Sarda recently alleged that Bhavana Gawali had duped the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) through a firm named Balaji Sahkari Particle Board by taking a loan of Rs 43.35 crore.
Harish Sarda claimed that Bhavana Gawali borrowed money from NCDC for ten years but the company never actually started.
Similar irregularities were allegedly found in connection with Bhavana Gawali’s firm Bhavana Agro Products and Services Ltd. For this company, she reportedly borrowed Rs 7.5 crore from two banks. The company was later sold to her private secretary for Rs 7.09 crore.
Last month, ED officials conducted raids and questioned some people connected to Bhavana Gawali in Washim. The MP Bhavana Gawali was summoned to the ED office in Mumbai for further questioning in the matter on October 4 but she alleged that she had not received the summons earlier and only saw the message on October 4.
The Shiv Sena MP further alleged that she was travelling due to official work and asked for time of fifteen days to appear before the agency.