Sachin Waze given list of bar owners to collect money for Anil Deshmukh: ED tells court

Anil Deshmukh
The ED had filed a criminal case under the Act against Anil Deshmukh, 71, and others after studying a recent CBI FIR | File Photo: Twitter

Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze had played a key role in collecting “illegal gratification” from bar owners while in service as directed by then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh who had asked a private person to hand over a list of bars and orchestra owners in Mumbai to Waze, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court on Saturday.

However, the special holiday court judge PR Sitre rejected the agency’s demand for an extension of Anil Deshmukh’s custody for another nine days and remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days instead.

Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the ED late Monday night after 12 hours of questioning. A court on Tuesday remanded him in the agency’s custody till November 6. He was produced before the special court at the end of his ED custody.

While seeking his further custody, the ED told the court that the NCP leader was evasive in his reply and gave vague answers. The money laundering case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI booked him in a corruption case related to allegations of at least Rs 100 crore bribery made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

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The ED alleged that their investigation has revealed that 27 companies, which are directly or indirectly controlled by Anil Deshmukh and his family, have been utilised for infusion of his ill-gotten money. These companies are indulging in “irrational but interrelated ” transactions and money have been flown from and to each other companies.

“Further it is also revealed that money has been also flown from personal accounts of Hrishikesh Deshmukh, Salil Deshmukh (sons of Anil Deshmukh) and other family members of Anil Deshmukh to these companies,” the ED said.

Even accused Anil Deshmukh had transacted with some of the said companies and is not able to explain the reason for that (which) clearly indicates the intention behind Anil Deshmukhs denial of the associations with said companies, the probe agency said.

On being asked about his finance and accounts, Deshmukh stated it was being looked after by chartered accountant, Vinod Hasani, the ED said, adding that it has summoned Hasani for confrontation with the fact arisen during the custodial interrogation of Anil Deshmukh, the court was told.

The ED said another accused, Sachin Waze, has a significant role in this money laundering case as he has played a key role in collecting the illegal gratification from the bar owners of Mumbai at the direction of Anil Deshmukh.

The ED applied to the NIA court on November 5 for allowing the anti-money laundering agency to record the statement of Waze to make him confront the documents/evidence collected from Deshmukh to expedite this case and take it to its logical conclusion.

Waze is currently in the custody of the Mumbai Police’s crime branch in connection with an extortion case registered at suburban Goregaon police station. During the investigation, it has also come to light that a private person has handed over a list of bars and orchestra owners in Mumbai to Sachin Waze on the instruction of Anil Deshmukh, the ED told the court, adding it has summoned this private person for verifying the same.

The ED further told the court that Deshmukhs son Hrishikesh Deshmukh was summoned on November 5 for the recording of his statement, but he did not appear. Hrishikesh had been summoned five times earlier and he has not turned up even once. Meanwhile, Hrishikesh has approached the court with the anticipatory bail application. His plea will be heard on November 12.

Further, the ED has summoned various family members of Anil Deshmukh, who are either directors or shareholders in various controlled companies, in order to confront them with the facts that have arisen during the recording of statements of the former state home minister. From the investigation, it is clear that Anil Deshmukh by the virtue of his earlier position as home Minister of the Maharashtra government received amounts to the tune of approximately Rs 4.70 crore, collected from the orchestra bar owners/managers for smooth functioning of bars, the ED said.

Part of the said bribe money was sent to his trust Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha with the help of Delhi-based paper companies by attempting to colour it as a donation. Anil Deshmukh has not been able to explain his position on this aspect, the probe agency said. Further, certain key persons have been called for questioning to confront facts that came to light during the recording of Anil Deshmukh’s statements, it said.

Based on the investigation conducted so far and the material in the shape of statements, seizures made during searches under PMLA, the ED has the reason to believe that Anil Deshmukh is involved in the offence of money laundering, it said.

He is required to be confronted with the statements of other persons recorded so far during the investigation under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act). It is clear that Anil Deshmukh has played a very crucial role in the money laundering offence, it said.

The probe agency said Anil Deshmukh had not provided the required information regarding the laundering of proceeds of crime. Sustained interrogation under custody is required to unearth the trail of funds, for corroboration and confrontation with other persons involved in the case, it added.

Advocate Vikram Chaudhri and Aniket Nikam, appearing for the former home minister, opposed the EDs remand plea. Chaudhri said the grounds for seeking the remand were “vague and repetitive”.

No fresh grounds for the remand has been cited by the probe agency, the lawyer said.

“Extra days (custody) are given only when there is extraordinary circumstances. Nothing of that sort has been presented before the court,” he said.

Besides Anil Deshmukh, the ED had arrested his two aides- Kundan Shinde and Sanjeev Palande in connection with the case. The duo is currently in judicial custody.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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