ED Files Chargesheet In Alleged Mumbai Covid Centre Scam

Covid Centre Scam
In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) on Friday against Sujit Patkar, a close aide of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, and several others in connection with the alleged Covid jumbo centre scam.

Sujit Patkar was arrested on July 19 by the ED, along with Dr. Kishore Bisure. The agency has named other individuals, including Hemant Gupta, Sanjay Shah, Raju Salunkhe, Arvind Singh, and Lifeline Hospital Management Services.

This case pertains to Covid centres established in Mumbai by the government during the pandemic. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was tasked with providing healthcare staff and other facilities on a contract basis.

A complaint was filed last year by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), based on which the ED initiated its case. In July, when seeking Patkar’s remand, the ED alleged that Patkar obtained the contract for Lifeline, in which he was a partner, to operate a jumbo centre and supply medical staff by influencing political leaders.

The ED claims that out of the approximately Rs 32 crore spent by the BMC for services and materials from Lifeline Hospital Management Services, around Rs 22 crore was laundered. The ED alleges that this money was routed through shell companies, with significant cash withdrawals.

According to the agency, some payments were made to eligible individuals to siphon off the money, but later they returned the money in cash to the suspects. The ED has also questioned other individuals in the case, including an IAS officer, and has expressed its intention to continue its investigation.

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