A former Petroleum Minister and a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra could be part of the list of politicians who could be in trouble for having 'patronised' the Wadhawans (Rakesh and his son Sarang Wadhawan) arrested in the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam.
Investigating the multi-crore scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police are probing at least 14 companies, owned and exited by the Wadhawans, at different points of time between 2007 to 2018.
One such company under the scanner is the Privilege Oil and Gas Private Ltd (POGL), incorporated on March 8, 2008. Set up primarily by Sarang Wadhwan, POGL was aimed at extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas.
Sarang Wadhawan, who was Director in POGL from March 8, 2008, to March 12, 2018, hired the services of a former Director-General of Police (DGP), Uttar Pradesh, allegedly close to the Gandhi family, for liaison with the Union Government.
Besides the former DGP, the Wadhwans also hired the now sacked Chairman of PMC Bank, Waryam Singh, allegedly close to a former Maharashtra Chief Minister, to acquire lucrative contracts in the power, infrastructure and petroleum sectors.
Eyeing a few big projects in the power sector in Maharashtra and neighbouring states, the Wadhawans appointed Waryam Singh as a Director in the Privilege Power and Infrastructure Private Ltd. For obliging the then government in the 'Mantralaya', Wadhawans took over a Marathi news channel, Mi-Marathi, run by Mi-Marathi Media Ltd(MMML).
According to a former key editorial staff of Mi-Marathi, the entire editorial authority was handed over to Waryam Singh who was appointed a Director of MMML on September 30, 2010. Sources said that investigation agencies are now gathering evidence to ascertain that whether 'norms' were relaxed in awarding contracts in the power and infrastructure sectors to Wadhawans during the period 2006 to 2012.
Top sources in the Union Finance Ministry revealed to IANS that the ED is also looking into massive money laundering scam allegedly committed by Wadhawans through their alleged offshore companies. Inputs on huge investments by Wadhawans in the UK, France, Spain, the US, the UAE and Mauritius is being collected by the ED sleuths.
The sleuths have also sought information on the VIP passenger lists and flight data of two private jets (Bombardier and Falcon 2000) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which were frequently loaned to top politicians. Both the aircrafts are owned by Wadhawans' company Privilege Airways Private Ltd, established in February 2006.
Meanwhile, the EOW is contemplating to question auditors of the Wadhawan's now-defunct Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) in connection with the multi-crore scam of the PMC Bank. The auditors' financial reports, which ignored certain facts, will be scrutinised by the investigators.