Mumbai News: ED Searches 9 Premises Linked To NCP Leader, Sharad Pawar’s Close Aide In Connection With Money Laundering Case

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches on Thursday and Friday at nine locations, encompassing both official and residential premises of three Jalgaon-based jewellery firms. The promoters and directors of these firms were subjected to these searches in connection with three instances of bank fraud.

These cases involve Ishwarlal Jain, a former Rajya Sabha member and a close associate of Sharad Pawar. Ishwarlal Jain also held the position of the former treasurer of the party. The searches were carried out by the Enforcement Directorate across multiple locations, including Jalgaon, Mumbai, Thane, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and a few others.

ED searches were based on Money Laundering Investigation related to an alleged bank fraud case that caused a total loss of Rs.353 crore to the state Bank of India.

Details On The Case

The current ED search is rooted in an FIR registered by the CBI in 2022 against a jewellery firm associated with Ishwarlal Jain and others. This FIR was prompted by complaints lodged by the State Bank of India. The SBI alleged irregularities in the transactions involving three accused firms: Rajmal Lakhichand Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Manraj Jewellers Pvt Ltd and RL Gold Pvt Ltd. These irregularities are related to transactions with the SBI, spanning the period from 2002 to 2014.

Their promoters, directors and guarantors –Ishwarlal Shaankarala Jain Lalwani, Manish Ishwarlal Jain Lalwani, Pushadevi Ishwarlal Jain Lalwani and Neekita Manish Jain Lalwani who were named as accused in CBI complaint. According to SBI complain to CBI, Rajmal Lakhichand Jewellers caused a loss of Rs 206.73 crore to the bank, RL Gold Caused a Rs 68.19 crore loss and Manraj Jewellers a Rs 76.57 Crore loss.

ED sources reported the seizure of important documents and digital evidence during the search related to the bank fraud. In December 2022, the CBI registered the FIR and also conducted a raid on the jewellery firm at that time, recovering numerous pieces of paper relevant to the bank fraud.

Ishwarlal Jain: Senior Pawar’s Close Aide In NCP

Ishwarlal Jain Lalwani was a prominent leader of the NCP party and was known to have a close association with Sharad Pawar. According to the registered FIR, the three accused companies allegedly sold goods worth Rs. 10,187 crore to a partnership firm during 2010-11 to 2017-18 and bought goods worth Rs. 9,925 crore. despite request from forensic audits, the financials of the company Rajmal Lakhichand were not allegedly provided by the promoters. The bank had alleged that the accused had colluded and committed illegal activities, including forgery by manipulation and submission of fake financial statements and fabrication of factitious transactions.

The entire case pertains to the default of the loan. The bank alleged in the complaint that the mortgaged assets had been sold without seeking its permission which resulted in the loss of security against the loan granted and that the recovery of loans got seriously jeopardised.

The bank also alleged that the accused firms availed the credit facility from SBI but misappropriate their process by their process by diverting them for non-sectioned purpose.the loan accounts had turned into non Performing Assets.

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