In yet another embarrassment for the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in Maharashtra, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday (July 16) attached immovable assets worth ₹4.20 crore of former state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and his family in a corruption case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED contends that as the home minister, Deshmukh “received illegal gratification of approximately ₹4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners” with the assistance of now suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze.
A statement issued by the Enforcement Directorate said: “Investigation under PMLA revealed that Anil Deshmukh while acting as Home Minister of State of Maharashtra, with dishonest intention has received illegal gratification of approximately ₹4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners, through Sachin Waze, then Assistant Police Inspector of Mumbai Police. Further, with the help of Delhi based dummy companies, Deshmukh family laundered the tainted money of ₹4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same as amount received in the Trust namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha.”
Deshmukh had to resign as home minister in April this year after a case was registered against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the charge of extortion of ₹100 crore. Vaze had opened the Pandora’s Box, telling the Enforcement Directorate that he collected ₹4.70 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai on Deshmukh’s orders.
The assets attached on Friday are in the form of one residential flat valued at ₹1.54 crore, located in Mumbai and 25 land parcels of book value ₹2.67 crore, located at Dhutum villages in Uran, Raigarh district of Maharashtra, the ED informed.
The Enforcement Directorate said that Deshmukh’s flat located at Worli, Mumbai, is registered in the name of his wife Aarti Deshmukh and bought in cash in 2004. However, its sale deed was executed only in February 2020 when Deshmukh was serving as the home minister.
“Further Deshmukh family has acquired the 50 per cent ownership in Premier Port Links Pvt. Ltd. including its assets i.e. land and shops totally valued at approximately ₹5.34 crore (Book Value) by merely paying amount of ₹17.95 lakh, that too after a substantial gap,” said the ED statement.
A few days back, the Enforcement Directorate had arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde.