The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating to see if Nitish Thakur, suspended deputy collector of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), made overseas transactions to launder some of the money he allegedly made through corrupt practices.
Thakur has been in prison since last month when the Thane Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) raided his properties and found that he has acquired disproportionate assets worth more than Rs. 118.39 crore. The ACB raided 26 of his properties.
During investigation, the ACB discovered that Thakur had received a sum of Rs. 17 crore from Dubai, after which the ED has got involved to investigate the overseas transactions in the case. The ACB also found that Thakur had invested a lot of black money in properties and fixed deposits.
“The overseas monetary transaction is one aspect of our investigation,” said an ED official, requesting anonymity. The ED has already registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Thakur and will study the documents and financial records seized by the ACB.
On Wednesday, the ED attached seven properties owned by Thakur and his family, located in Mumbai, Alibaug and Murud Jinjira; their collective market value is more than Rs. 12 crore.
These properties were attached after the Mumbai crime branch filed a charge sheet against Thakur, his brother Nilesh and others in an extortion, cheating and forgery case registered last year.
Sources in the ED said they would attach fresh properties based on the case registered by the Thane ACB.
Prior to the ACB raid and arrest, the ED had issued summons to Thakur twice in February, but he did not turn up, sources said.
Last month, the Thane ACB carried out searches at 26 of Thakur’s properties in Alibaug, Murud, Belkade, Kolgaon, Ghoteghar, Chikhli, Kandivli, Gorai, Vile Parle, Andheri and Ghatkopar. Subsequently, he was arrested from his home in a building in Vile Parle, where he has a duplex flat in one wing and a flat in the other.