Anil Deshmukh Prime Beneficiary of Proceeds of Crime, ED Tells Special Court

The ED said that the NCP leader was an "important cog in the wheels" in the case.

2 min read
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday, 2 November, told a special holiday court in Mumbai that Maharashtra's former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who was sent to ED custody till 6 November in connection with an extortion and money laundering case, was the "prime beneficiary" of proceeds of crime and was also directly involved in money laundering, PTI reported.

In its remand note, the ED said that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was an "important cog in the wheels" in the case, in which around Rs 100 crore was allegedly collected. The ED also said that the involvement of foreign angle can't be ruled out.

"Anil Deshmukh has emerged as an important cog in the wheels. It is, therefore, imperative for the investigation to interrogate the accused in custody in order to draw a logical conclusion in the case. The involvement of foreign angle cannot be ruled out at this stage," the ED said in its remand note.

"The accused above named (Mr Deshmukh) has played a very crucial role in the offence of money laundering. He has not cooperated with the investigation. He has not provided the required information regarding the laundering of the proceeds of crime," the agency said.

The ED said Deshmukh had collected Rs 4.70 crore in bribe money from then assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, from December 2020 to February 2021, who had extorted the amount from bars and restaurants across Mumbai.

"Sachin Waze had informed the bar owners/managers that the money collected will go to "No 1" and crime branch and social service branch of the Mumbai police. Thus, it is seen that Sachin Waze had collected money amounting to ₹ 4.70 crore from various bar owners and managers," the ED said.

Waze is currently lodged in Tajola jail in connection with Antilia bomb scare-Mansukh Hiran murder case.

"He (Mr Waze) categorically stated that "No 1" was Anil Deshmukh, the then home minister of Maharashtra," the ED said.

"He (Mr Waze) stated that he was called by Anil Deshmukh at his official residence and was asked to collect ₹ 3 lakh per month from each bar and restaurant. He stated that he had collected approx ₹ 4.70 crore from December 2020 to February 2021 and had handed over the same to Kundan Shinde, the then personal assistant to Anil Deshmukh," the agency alleged.

Deshmukh used the bribe money through his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh and provided cash to some "Delhi-based paper companies". The money was then laundered to Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, an education trust controlled by the former minister's family based in Nagpur, the ED said.

Deshmukh, who had been arrested by the agency on Monday night after nearly 12 hours of questioning, had been produced before the special holiday court earlier on Tuesday.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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