ED summons Shiv Sena’s Yashwant Jadhav in FEMA violations case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday issued summons to Shiv Sena leader and former chairman of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee, Yashwant Jadhav, in connection with the alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
ED sources said their investigation, which was at a preliminary stage, was based on the searches conducted by the income tax (I-T) department on several premises linked to Jadhav and his wife, Yamini, MLA from Byculla.
As per the I-T probe, Jadhav had purchased several tenanted flats in Bilakahadi Chambers, the building in which he stays in Byculla, and had allegedly paid one of the tenants, who was in the United States, purportedly by illegal means. A company, Pradhan Dealers Private Limited, which the agency believes is connected with Jadhav, also had some alleged foreign transactions.
Despite repeated attempts, Jadhav could not be reached for a comment.
I-T officials had in February carried out raids at 33 places, including Jadhav’s residence, over suspected tax evasion. The agency had said their action followed several complaints of corruption against Jadhav, whose family is also accused of laundering of ₹15 crore with the help of a Kolkata-based shell company.
One of the places searched was the Walkeshwar residence of a very influential BMC contractor, believed to have some clout in the civic body. The agency had searched premises linked to almost all civic contractors who were close to Sena leaders.
Jadhav was the head of the BMC’s standing committee, which approves proposals involving expenditure of over ₹50 lakh. BMC is one of the richest civic bodies in the country with an annual budget of over ₹45,000 crore.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya had accused Jadhav of being involved in laundering money obtained from alleged scams.
The I-T department had started its probe against Jadhav in 2019 after finding alleged discrepancies in the election affidavit of his wife filed for the 2019 assembly polls.
As per Yamini Jadhav’s election affidavit, she availed of unsecured loans of ₹1 crore, including one from Pradhan Dealers. During the probe, the I-T department learnt that Pradhan Dealers was a shell firm that was used in the alleged money laundering.
I-T investigations also revealed that the shareholding companies of Pradhan Dealers were two Kolkata-based companies and three individuals were shown as dummy directors of these companies. Among those dummy directors was a Kolkata-based entry operator. Through the shell company, the entry operator brought entries in the Pradhan Dealers’ books in exchange for unaccounted cash allegedly received from Jadhavs. Later, Jadhav allegedly took the same money as a loan from Pradhan Dealers.
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