Pune News : ED attaches Rosary Education Group’s property worth Rs 47.1 crores in money laundering case

Pune: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has provisionally attached four immovable properties worth ₹47.1 Crore belonging to Rosary Education Group and its partners Vinay Aranha and Vivek Aranha, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The ED initiated an investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the Pune Police, following a complaint by Shivaji Vithal Kale of Cosmos Bank against Vinay Aranha and Vivek Anthony Aranha. The complaint alleged that the accused persons had obtained a loan of ₹20.44 Crore from Cosmos Bank by submitting fake property documents.

The ED investigation has revealed that the accused persons had obtained multiple loans, including car loans, in 2013-14 from Cosmos Cooperative Bank Pune by submitting fabricated property documents, mortgaging them and grossly overvaluing them to avail loans for which they were otherwise ineligible. Vinay Aranha submitted bogus work invoices in the guise of refurbishing Rosary schools and got loans disbursed to bogus vendors, which were immediately withdrawn in cash and handed back to him.

The ED conducted a fund trail investigation and found that Vinay Aranha diverted the loans and got Crores of rupees in cash. He got loan amounts disbursed to Paramount Infrastructure, Shabbir Patanwala, Ashwin Kamat, Deepti Enterprises, and others, who have admitted that they did not do any work and returned the cash to Aranha.

Despite repeated opportunities, Vinay Aranha has not given any account of the utilization of the cash. Even in his schools, they did not maintain any account of revenue, expenditure, and income since 2012, and no Income Tax Returns (ITRs) were filed. All this was done to enable Vinay Aranha to siphon off funds as per his whims and fancies. Vinay Aranha admittedly splurged large amounts on celebrities and hosted gala events (in the name of Vinay Aranha Foundation) for self-aggrandizement and also purchased multiple luxury cars.

During the course of the ED investigation, Vinay Aranha was evasive and non-cooperative, and did not respond to multiple summons of the ED. On 10 March 2023, ED arrested Vinay Aranha under the PMLA, and he is presently under ED custody until 20th March 2023.

The present market value of the attached properties is estimated to be around ₹98.20 Crore. The attached properties include lands and school buildings that are owned in the name of Vinay Aranha and his family.

Further investigation is ongoing.

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