The Maharashtra Police has arrested a former chairman of a state-based cooperative bank and his five family members after an ED complaint they were allegedly obstructing its raids and destroying evidence, officials said Sunday.
The case pertains to an Enforcement Directorate money laundering investigation, linked to alleged irregularities of about Rs 494 crore, against the former officer-bearers of the Pune-based Seva Vikas Cooperative bank including its chairman Amar Mulchandani.
The agency, according to official sources, raided the premises of Mulchandani in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area (near Pune), early morning on January 27, but its team could not get into his house as "no one opened the house." The ED subsequently called in a locksmith who breached the lock, following which ED officials found at least five people inside.
Official sources said the occupants of the house informed ED sleuths that Mulchandani was not there, and their statements were recorded under the sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED officials, after about six hours of search, found a servant room inside the premises which was locked and when its keys were sought, the occupants expressed their inability to provide them.
The locksmith, as per the sources, was again summoned and after the door lock was broken, the agency found Mulchandani "hiding" inside this room.
The ED filed a police complaint against all the six people alleging non-cooperation during the searches and hiding/destruction of evidence following which all of them, including two women, were arrested by the local police, they said.
The agency suspects that the former chairman of the bank "erased" chats and cloud data from the two mobile phones allegedly recovered from him.
About Rs 2.73 crore worth of jewellery and diamonds and Rs 40 lakh in cash were recovered from the premises, the sources said.
The RBI had cancelled the licence of the bank in October, 2022.
The bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects, the RBI had said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)