A special PMLA court in Mumbai on Friday remanded two staffers of the Enforcement Directorate in the Central probe agency's custody till March 28 for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe to provide "secret" information to an accused in a money laundering case.
Yogesh Wagule and Vishal Kudekar were arrested by ED during the day for helping Bablu Sonkar, an associate of Amar Mulchandani, former chairman of Seva Vikas Co-operative (SVC) Bank, after accepting Rs 13,000.
Sonkar too has been arrested, and the three were produced before special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Judge M G Deshpande, who remanded them in ED custody till March 28.
ED counsel Kavita Patil told court the bribe was paid to "purchase secret office documents" of ED so as to keep a close watch on the probe agency's findings in the case against Mulchandani as well as to keep track of witnesses who are being summoned and what was being unearthed from them.
Sonkar had also paid a bribe of Rs 40,000 to a driver attached to the ED who was on duty when Vinay Aranha of Rosary Education Group of Pune, was arrested in a money laundering case earlier this month, as per the probe agency.
Aranha is accused of defaulting on loans taken from various banks, including two from SVC Bank. The loans were taken from SVC Bank by mortgaging a property that had already been sold, and the loan account was declared an NPA, as per the ED.
The ED has claimed the SVC Board of Directors headed by Mulchandani had sanctioned the loans to Aranha.
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