Bhujbal PMLA case: ED attaches land worth Rs 160 crore

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today attached a plot worth Rs 160 crore of a realty firm in connection with a money laundering probe against NCP leader and former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

The seized asset is primely located in Navi Mumbai area and was registered in the name of Devisha Infrastructure and the action, the agency said, has been done in the "Chhagan Bhujbal case."

"The value of the land is about Rs 160 crore as per land records and documents estimate," they said.

The firm was being managed and owned by Pankaj and Samir Bhujbal, Chhagan's son and his nephew respectively.

ED has been probing the firm under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a Mumbai police FIR against it.

The police complaint names Pankaj and Samir and they had been booked under IPC Sections related to cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and relevant provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act.

ED said case involved an amount of Rs 44 crore and concerned 2,300 people who had booked houses in the project promoted by the said realty company at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai.

A group of 25-30 people, waiting for the housing project to take off for four years, had earlier approached the court over the delay in its construction.

The builder, Devisha Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, told buyers that administrative delays have held up the project, 'Hex World'.

In 2010, the developer had collected 10 per cent of the flat's total cost as booking amount but started no work.

The Bhujbal family allegedly took bookings of 2,600 flats in 'Hex World'. After delays, they however offered to refund the amount. This the second attachment order under PMLA against Bhujbal as ED, few months back, had seized over Rs 17 crore assets of another firm embroiled in the second case against him relating to the award of contract for the construction of state guest house in Delhi known as the new 'Maharashtra Sadan'.

The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau is also probing these two cases against the politician.

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