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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Mumbai: Suspended Mhada officer caught trying to escape to Nepal

Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 02, 2013
First Published: 01:44 IST(2/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(2/4/2013)

Suspended deputy collector with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), Nitish Thakur, was intercepted at the international airport on Monday while he was trying to slip into Nepal.

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“Thakur was held at the airport while he was trying to board a Jet Airways evening flight to Nepal,” sources said.

Thakur had been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in March last year for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. His assets total Rs120 crore while his income is a mere Rs.28,000.

Earlier on Monday, Thakur’s anticipatory bail in connection with the case filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was rejected by the Bombay high court.

However, on a request made by Thakur, justice RC Chavan granted him relief of three weeks to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

After his arrest in March, Thakur was released on bail. While granting him bail, however, the court had set a condition that he should not leave the country till the case was decided.

During investigation, the ACB found that Thakur had received payment of Rs.17 crore from an account in Dubai, following which the ED got involved in the case because the unexplained overseas transaction to the MHADA official was tantamount to money laundering.

The ED started asking for his custody in order to conduct custodial interrogation of him to find the source of the money.

Fearing arrest by the ED, Thakur had moved the high court at the time.

In April last year, the ED had attached seven properties belonging to Thakur and his family located in Mumbai, Alibaug and Murud-Janjira, that have a market value of over Rs.12 crore.


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