With over 80 properties attached, Maharashtra tops the list of states where maximum properties have been attached on the charge of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
According to official data, more than 80 per cent of these suspect properties obtained by alleged “criminal proceeds of crime” are located in the western state while other states like Punjab and Rajasthan only have few properties under this category.
The total such properties, as per latest data, attached stand at 96.
While there are many other states where central financial enforcement agency has issued “provisional” orders for attaching dubious properties on money laundering charges, the agency has been given approval of the Adjudicating Authority of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach and freeze immovable properties in a specified number of states as part of its criminal probe under the said provisions.
The ED has issued lockdown orders on these assets advising general public to not enter into any business of renting, purchasing or acquiring of these properties.
Under PMLA laws, once the Authority confirms ED’s provisional attachment, the property can be freed only after the permission of a superior court like the High Court of the Supreme Court.
The other states where the ED has got similar confirmation to attach properties include Punjab (6), Rajasthan (7), Kerala (1) and Himachal Pradesh (1).
According to latest data, the assets attached in Maharashtra include plots, flats, houses, shops and other residential space in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Raigad, Alibaug and few other places.
Sources said these properties are involved in various cases being probed by the ED like the Hasan Ali Khan probe, probe against ‘Red Sanders’ wood smuggling mafia and investigation related to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda among others.
An attachment action, under the PMLA, is aimed to deprive the accused benefits of his or her ill-gotten wealth earned through illegal means.