Ex-Maha bureaucrat arrested in UAE on ED Interpol notice: Govt

PTI
Tuesday, 6 February 2018

New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) A former Maharashtra government bureaucrat --wanted in a money laundering case-- has been arrested by the UAE police on the basis of a Interpol notice issued by the ED, the government told Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told Rajya Sabha in a written reply that Nitish J Thakur, an ex- deputy collector of the MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority), was "arrested" by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) police on January 21.

New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) A former Maharashtra government bureaucrat --wanted in a money laundering case-- has been arrested by the UAE police on the basis of a Interpol notice issued by the ED, the government told Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told Rajya Sabha in a written reply that Nitish J Thakur, an ex- deputy collector of the MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority), was "arrested" by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) police on January 21.

The minister said an Interpol notice was issued against Thakur in October last year, on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and "extradition process has been initiated."

The ED had booked the former Maharashtra state services bureaucrat under criminal charges of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), as part of two FIRs filed by it in 2011 and 2012.

MoS Shukla, in his reply on the alleged illegal acts of Thakur, said provisions of the Income Tax Act "prohibit" the disclosure of information of individual assessee.

He was asked if the tax department and other law enforcement agencies are investigating cases of illegal gratification of Rs 250 crore given by Ms Pallonji Shapoorji to a company called PRS Enterprises owned by the ex-official.

The minister, however, added that "Ms Shapoorji Pallonji Company Limited has filed a civil suit no 2576 of 2011 before High Court of Bombay and obtained a decree in their favour on ctober 19, 2011 for transferring properties acquired out of the funds given by them."

The minister added that assets worth Rs 119.43 crore have
been "attached" so far in this case.

The ED FIRs against Thakur and others were filed after taking cognisance of complaints filed by the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) against him and his associates on charges of alleged corruption and possession of disproportionate assets .

He was also arrested by the ACB in 2016 but has been absconding since he got bail in this case.

The central probe agency had last year arrested Thakur's brother Nilesh Thakur as part of its probe in these cases.

 It is alleged that Nilesh acted as a front for his brother and received tainted funds from a major infrastructure firm.

The ED had earlier said that Thakur had "started a firm by the name Ms PRS Enterprises and inducted his brother Nilesh Thakur as its proprietor."

The agency had said that investigations revealed that Thakur and others "have received huge amount to the tune of Rs 275 crore in names of companies/firms created by Nilesh Thakur and other family members."

The probe prima facie revealed, the ED had said, that a total amount of Rs 275 crore obtained by these companies was nothing but the proceeds obtained as a result of criminal activity relating to the offence of money laundering.

"Though, the party has claimed it as project management consultancy (PMC) charges or advance for aggregation of land, however, this amount not found to be bonafide income, hence it prima facie appear to be proceeds of crime," it had said after arresting Nilesh Thakur last year. 

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