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Economic Fraud

Assets Worth Rs. 150 Crore Found in ED Raid at Top IPS Officer’s Husband’s Home



Purshottam Chavan

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized property documents worth Rs 150 crore from the residence of a senior IPS officer in Maharashtra. The raid took place at the officer’s official home in Colaba, Mumbai, a few days ago, and targeted her husband, Purshottam Chavan, who is implicated in a massive Income Tax fraud case.

The search, conducted prior to Chavan’s arrest, uncovered documents for around fourteen flats situated in Mumbai and Thane, including two sizable flats in the upscale area of Worli. Additionally, the ED found documents related to Transferable Development Rights (TDR) for properties in Mumbai and Pune. Sources indicate that these assets, registered under multiple names, are suspected to be benami properties, meaning they are likely held by proxy for Chavan.

Chavan was taken into custody on May 5 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. His arrest is connected to a Rs 263 crore Income Tax refund fraud. According to the investigation, Chavan had assured one of the primary accused, Rajesh Batra, that he could secure relief in the tax case for a payment of Rs 12 crore.

The raid at Chavan’s residence also yielded foreign currency and several mobile phones. ED officials disclosed that Chavan had attempted to obstruct the investigation by destroying evidence, potentially hindering further efforts to trace the illicit money trail.

The ED initiated this probe based on an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Delhi, which accused Tanaji Mandal Adhikari and others of generating fraudulent Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refunds worth Rs 263.95 crore from the Income Tax Department. The investigation revealed incriminating communications between Chavan and Batra, involving hawala transactions and the diversion of illegally obtained funds.

Earlier arrests in this case include Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Patil, Rajesh Shetty, who are currently in judicial custody, and Rajesh Brijlal Batra, who is in ED custody. Chavan was arrested on May 20 and subsequently presented before the Special PMLA Court in Mumbai, which granted ED custody until May 27.

So far, the ED has identified and seized immovable and movable properties valued at Rs 168 crore in this case. A complaint against Adhikari and ten others was also filed in September 2023.

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