MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday accused former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh of controlled 27 companies through his family members and close associates, which were allegedly used for infusion of “ill gotten” money. Deshmukh was arrested by the ED on Monday night after 12 hours of questioning in connection with its money laundering probe. He was sent to ED custody till November 6 by a Special PMLA court here. Also Read & Watch: Abhay Chautala Scores A Big Win In Ellenabad; To Go To Tikri To Seek Farmers’ Blessings
The ED informed the court that it was revealed during the probe that 13 companies are directly controlled by Deshmukh’s family and 14 others, found to be in the names of close associates of Deshmukh family, are indirectly controlled by his family members and associates. And that upon analysing the bank accounts of the companies and several persons, it was found that money was flowing from companies indirectly controlled by Deshmukh family to companies controlled by his family members. Deshmukh has denied these allegations.
The ED said that it reached the conclusion after analysing the balance sheets and bank statements of these companies. It was found that some of these entries don’t have any actual business and are only being used for rotation of funds, probably to create a layer for rotation of funds.
The ED also alleged that in 2008, Zodiac Dealcom Pvt Ltd, a company controlled by Deshmukh family raised bogus share capital from 18 Kolkata-based shell companies.
The financial probe agency alleged that 18 Kolkata based companies belong to a known entry operator Manohar Lal Nanglia and his partner Babu Lal Banka. “Total security premium of Rs 9.82 crore was raised and in 2010 the company was overtaken by Deshmukh group of companies,” the ED said.
The investigation agency also alleged that during questioning of Nanglia in June this year, it was apparent that Zoadiac Dealcon had converted Rs 10 crore cash as share sale at premium and the company had no actual activity other than banking transactions.
The ED further said that now dismissed Mumbai Police Sachin Waze in his statement stated that Deshmukh had asked him to collect Rs 3 lakh each from the bars and restaurants and also handed him the list of owners of the bars.
Waze further claimed that he had collected approximately Rs 4.7 crore from several bar owners between December 2020 and February 2022 and handed it over to Deshmukh’s PA Kundan Shinde.
The ED had registered a case earlier this year on the basis of the case registered by the CBI over the allegations of corruption and misuse of his office.
Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and of money laundering.
It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as “extortion” money from the orchestra bars by the now-dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, allegedly on Deshmukh’s instructions. Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.
According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was shown as a “donation”. The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.
On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places.
In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.
The ED had earlier also filed a 4,500 page chargesheet in the case against Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde on August 23 this year.
The ED had arrested Palande and Shinde after carrying out searches against them and the NCP leader in Mumbai and Nagpur.
The ED has also attached properties to the tune of Rs 4.2 crore of Deshmukh under PMLA.