Anil Deshmukh arrested by ED in money laundering case

Anil Deshmukh arrested by Enforcement Directorate in money laundering case

They claimed the senior NCP leader was evasive during questioning and the agency will seek his custody after they produce him before a local court

Anil Deshmukh. Credit: PTI Photo

Former Maharashtra home minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday night.

Deshmukh (72) is close to NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar and party’s general secretary Praful Patel.

Deshmukh, who had evaded five summons earlier, was accompanied by lawyers when he entered the ED office at Ballard Estate.

The ED said Deshmukh has been arrested as per the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

They claimed the senior NCP leader was evasive during questioning and the agency will seek his custody after they produce him before a local court here on Tuesday.

Deshmukh entered the ED office before noon and was arrested around midnight.

The senior politician from Vidarbha had to resign from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh - who is now untraceable - alleged that the minister has fixed a Rs 100 crore per month collection target for now dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze.

Before Deshmukh entered the ED office, he released a press statement and a video statement from his Twitter handle.

"When I got summons from the ED, I was accused of not cooperating with the probe agency. The media has been wrongly reporting that I have been evading summons, but I want to make it clear that whenever I was asked to appear, I told the probe agency that the matter is in the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court and to wait for the outcome,” Deshmukh said.

"I clearly said that once the decision is out, I will be at the ED office. When my office and my homes were raised, my family and staff cooperated with them. I also got two summons from CBI... whenever I got summons I went to CBI office and got my statement recorded. Even today, my case is pending in the Supreme Court. But today I have presented myself in the ED office,” he added.

It may be mentioned that Vaze has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the twin cases of planting of a gelatin sticks-laden Mahindra Scorpio near Antilia, the residence of Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, and the murder of the SUV owner Mansukh Hiren, and faces murder and terror charges.

Deshmukh, his wife Aarti Deshmukh and their son Hrishikesh Deshmukh had been repeatedly summoned by ED.

It may be mentioned that the ED had arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde - and they have been chargesheeted by the ED, which has also attached properties to the tune of Rs 4.20 crore which are linked to Deshmukh and his family.

With PTI inputs.

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