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HomeNewsCrimeED Initiates Money Laundering Inquiry into Shiv Sena (UBT) Leader Kishori Pednekar's...

ED Initiates Money Laundering Inquiry into Shiv Sena (UBT) Leader Kishori Pednekar’s Role in Mumbai Body Bag Scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Kishori Pednekar, a former mayor and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader, along with a former additional municipal commissioner (projects), a former deputy municipal commissioner (purchase/CPD), private contractor Vedanta Innotech, and unnamed government officials. This action is in connection with an alleged scam involving the procurement of body bags at inflated rates during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The alleged fraudulent transactions are estimated at Rs 49.63 lakh, and the ED is expected to summon the accused civic officials and others for questioning soon. This marks the second money laundering case registered by the ED related to irregularities in the functioning of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) during the pandemic. Previously, the ED had registered a PMLA case in the Covid Jumbo Centre scam and arrested Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut’s close aide Sujit Mukund Patker and a civic doctor, Kishore Bisure, in connection with the alleged multi-crore scam in July.

The current ED case is based on an FIR filed by the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing on August 4 against Pednekar, civic officials, and others to investigate irregularities in the purchase of body bags for deceased Covid-19 patients. Pednekar and other senior civic officials were booked under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or by a banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. The ED will probe the money laundering aspect of the alleged scam, while the EOW is examining the criminal aspect.

In this body bag scam case, the EOW had previously interrogated deputy municipal commissioner Ramakant Biradar, who was in charge of the civic body’s central purchasing department (CPD) during the pandemic. The ED had also recorded Biradar’s statement earlier as part of its investigation into alleged irregularities in the BMC’s operations during the pandemic. The private company under scrutiny had allegedly supplied body bags for deceased patients to the BMC at a rate of Rs 6,719 per piece, over three times the amount charged to other private hospitals or government authorities during the same period, according to a previous ED inquiry. The EOW initiated its case following a complaint by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on July 18, alleging expenditure irregularities during the pandemic.

Rupesh Kumar Singh
Rupesh Kumar Singh
Rupesh Kumar Singh, a seasoned journalist since 2005, excels in crime and business journalism, known for accuracy and insightful reporting.


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