Maharashtra’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s aide Ajoy Mehta’s apartment at Nariman Point in Mumbai was bought from the director of a shell firm (paper company). The Income Tax Department is investigating this flat for alleged benami transactions.
According to the Indian Express report, the flat was sold to Mehta by Nikhil Gokhale, director of Anamitra Properties Pvt Ltd.
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Gokhale is on the board of at least seven firms linked to Pune-based businessman Avinash Bhosale’s ABIL Group. The ABIL Group is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case pertains to purchase of a plot allotted for residential units of bureaucrats in Pune and construction of a commercial building.
The ED had last month attached properties worth over Rs 40 crore belonging to Bhosale and his family in another case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Sources in the Income Tax Department told CNN-News18 that Mehta, the former chief secretary of the state, had bought this 1,076 sq ft flat from Anamitra Properties for Rs 5.33 crore last year. This flat was taken by this firm in 2009 for Rs 4 crore.
The department alleges that it is a shell firm as investigation has revealed that two of its shareholders live in a chawl in Mumbai. Their income is very less and they cannot buy properties with such high prices.
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