INDIA. Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday provisionally attached immovable assets worth Rs 4.2 crore belonging to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and his family members under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 (as amended in 2019), in a corruption case.
The attached assets are in the form of one residential flat valued at Rs 1.54 crore, located at Worli in South Central Mumbai, and 25 land parcels of book value Rs 2.67 crore, situated at Dhutum village in Uran in Raigad district, said ED in a statement.
The agency has alleged that Deshmukh’s Worli flat, registered in the name of his wife Aarti Deshmukh, was bought with cash in 2004, but the sale deed was executed only last February when Deshmukh was serving as the home minister. Further, the Deshmukh family has acquired 50 percent ownership in Premier Port Links Private Limited, including its assets, i.e. land and shops valued at approximately Rs 5.34 crore (book value), by paying merely Rs 17.95 lakh, that too after a substantial gap,” said the ED.
According to ED, Deshmukh’s family “laundered the tainted money of Rs 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same amount received in the trust, namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha”. The ED also said its probe has found that Deshmukh, while acting as the home minister of Maharashtra, received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners, through the now dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze, an accused in the Ambani terror scare and businessman Mansukh Hiran’s murder case.
Earlier, the agency had arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde in connection with the case. The ED probe into Deshmukh’s financial transactions is in line with the CBI investigation into former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against Deshmukh. However the the NCP leader, has been denying the allegations for quite some time.
In his March 20 letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after he was removed as the Mumbai Police chief, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh asked police officers, including Vaze, to collect Rs 100 crore each month, including Rs 40-50 crore from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai. Following Singh’s allegations, petitions were filed in the Bombay High Court seeking case be registered against Deshmukh. The Bombay court then ordered a preliminary inquiry by the CBI. Later an FIR was registered against Deshmukh.