The revelation made by the Public Prosecutor in court helped the prosecution secure extension of his police custody by another week.
Thakur was arrested last week after the anti-corruption bureau cops broke open the door of his Vile Parle apartment, where he was hiding. Another 1600 sq feet apartment in the same building also belongs to Thakur, reports Mumbai Mirror.
In the week that the ACB has had Thakur in their custody, the bureau has managed to trace only 38 of his properties and Rs 43 crore in fixed deposits.
On Thursday, as Thakur was presented in Alibaug Civil Court, there was a chance that he would be granted judicial custody, thus robbing the cops of the chance to grill him further.
But the prosecution had come prepared. There was stunned silence in the courtroom as Additional Public Prosecutor Vaibhav Bhole produced the papers Thakur had filed in December last year in the same court in a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against a local contractor.
In a clear attempt to impress the court and scare the contractor, Thakur had bragged about the 54 properties he owned across 10 cities, twelve cars and Rs 200 crore in fixed deposits.
The prosecution told the court that since Thakur, by his own admission, owns much more than what the ACB has uncovered so far, the cops should get more time to interrogate him.
The court granted the prosecution's plea and remanded Thakur in police custody for another week.
The defamation case filed by Thakur in December 2011, interestingly, involved a four-page newsletter distributed in Alibaug by a local contractor questioning the deputy collector's sources of income. And while that case is still being heard, the muscle-flexing in court by Thakur has provided the ACB with a ready guide to their investigation.
Thursday looked like a day of mis-steps for Thakur and his legal team.
In an attempt to wriggle out of the disproportionate assets case, Thakur submitted that he had resigned as deputy collector in June 2005 and has since not held any government job.
And since disproportionate assets case can be filed against only those who hold public office, the ACB action against him was illegal.
However, when the prosecution asked him to produce his resignation letter of 2005, Thakur's counsel could not produce it. The prosecutor, however, fished out a paper from his file showing that Thakur was suspended from service only in February 2011.
The prosecution informed the court that Thakur remained absent from work since 2005 on medical grounds. Medical certificates submitted by Thakur while on leave are with the state government.
Initially, the investigators had estimated him to be worth Rs 118 crore. However, a week later and after searches at his various properties, ACB now believes Thakur has assets in excess of Rs 500 crore.
A source said the investigators have stumbled upon a vital clue in the hard disk seized from Thakur's chartered accountant, which will lead them to several more of Thakur's properties.
The investigators are also looking into Rs 17 crore that Thakur received from Dubai recently and Rs 255 crore a reputed Mumbai developer paid him.