ED carries out searches at premises of sugar baron and BJP ally Ratnakar Gutte

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The Enforcement Directorate is conducting searches at nine places associated with sugar baron and BJP ally Ratnakar Gutte in connection with an alleged loan fraud, sources told Moneycontrol.

The searches are being carried out at Gutte’s premises in Parbhani district and Nagpur and at three locations in Mumbai, including an educational institute in Bandra West.

Gutte is also the leader of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP), which is an ally of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra.

It has been alleged that Gangakhed Sugar and Energy Private Limited, a sugar mill owned by Ratnakar Gutte, used names of 2,298 farmers from the village in Parbhani district to apply for crop loans worth Rs 328 crore from six banks including five nationalised and one private one.

Most of the farmers whose documents were used are dead.

The six banks from which the loans were taken are Andhra Bank, UCO Bank, United Bank of India, Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and RBL Bank.

A call and text message to Gutte seeking comment went unanswered. The copy will be updated upon response.

Ratnakar Gutte is the father of Vijay Gutte, who directed the movie The Accidental Prime Minister.

In August last year, Vijay Gutte was arrested for an alleged Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud of over Rs 34 crore.