Anil Deshmukh, former Maharashtra home minister, has been sent on a 14-day judicial custody by a Mumbai court in a money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Deshmukh late Monday night. He was questioned for over 12 hours in the case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the state police establishment.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged that Deshmukh was involved in several wrongdoings, including asking dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
The ED had initiated a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed its FIR against the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader on April 21 on charges of corruption and misuse of official position. The ED alleged that while serving as home minister, Deshmukh misused his official position and collected crores from various bars and restaurants across Mumbai through a dismissed cop.
Waze, according to ED, allegedly collected Rs 4.7 crore from orchestra bar owners in Mumbai for smooth functioning of the bars and gave the money to Deshmukh’s personal assistant Sanjeev Palande who later handed over the money to someone in Nagpur. ED officials said its investigation revealed that through hawala channels, this money was sent to the Delhi-based Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain who operated bogus companies. The Jain brothers are alleged to have diverted this money as donations to Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, a trust collected by the Deshmukh family.
Sources within the central agency, as per reports, said 71-year-old Deshmukh is not cooperating with the investigation, adding that the former minister and his family used 27 companies to launder tainted money, and that the agency needed more time to confront him with evidence.
Hrishikesh, Deshmukh’s son, was summoned on Friday in connection with the case but he skipped. As such, fresh summons will be issued.