Maharashtra: ED attaches Anil Deshmukh's assets worth Rs. 4 crore
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday attached assets worth over Rs. 4 crore of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and his family in connection with a money laundering case. The agency said provisional attachment order has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is probing a case registered against Deshmukh for his alleged involvement in corruption and extortion.
Deshmukh received 'illegal gratification' worth Rs. 4.7 crore
According to the probing agency, Deshmukh received "illegal gratification of approximately Rs. 4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners" when he was the Maharashtra Home Minister. The probe found that Deshmukh and his family laundered the tainted money of Rs. 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same amount received in the trust named Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha.
Attached assets located in Maharashtra's Mumbai, Raigarh
The Enforcement Directorate said, "The attached assets are in the form of one residential flat valued at Rs. 1.54 crore, located at Worli, Mumbai, and 25 land parcels of book value Rs. 2.67 crore, located at Dhutum villages in Uran, Raigarh district of Maharashtra."
Deshmukh's disproportionate assets under scanner
The ED also disclosed that the house in Worli, which was registered under Deshmukh's wife's name, was bought in cash in 2004, but a sale deed was done only in February 2020, during Deshmukh's tenure. It was also found that Deshmukh's family has acquired 50% ownership in M/s Premier Port Links Pvt. Ltd, valued at Rs. 5.34 crore, by paying merely Rs. 17.95 lakh.
Deshmukh and family skip ED summons
Despite repeated summons by the ED for questioning, Deshmukh and his family have refused to depose. The summons were issued in connection to a PMLA case filed against him in an allegedly Rs. 100 crore bribery and extortion racket in the Maharashtra Police establishment. Meanwhile, Deshmukh denied any wrongdoing and approached Supreme Court seeking protection from anti-coercive action against him and his family.
Deshmukh's close aides arrested last month
Last month, after conducting searches at various premises of Deshmukh two of his aides were arrested in connection with the case. The two had reportedly worked with the former minister as Personal Secretary and Personal Assistant.
Deshmukh resigned as Home Minister amid allegations of extortion
The ED probe into financial transactions of the former minister is linked to former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's allegations that Deshmukh had asked police officials to extort Rs. 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants. Following this, petitions were filed in the Bombay High Court seeking a case against Deshmukh. This also resulted in Deshmukh's resignation from his post in April.
ED, CBI registered cases against Deshmukh
After the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry in the matter, the agency formally registered a case against Deshmukh in April. Later, the ED registered a case against him and conducted searches on properties owned by him at various locations.