Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh (71), accused in the bribery and money laundering case, was finally arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) late on Monday night. Earlier, ED questioned Deshmukh for 12 hours. Agency officials said that NCP leader Deshmukh was evasive about questions related to the case. Deshmukh will be produced in a local court on Tuesday morning.
The agency will seek permission from the court to keep Deshmukh in custody. Deshmukh reached the ED’s office at Ballard Estate in south Mumbai on Monday at around 11.40 pm. After that, the Assistant Director of ED Tasin Sultan and his team Deshmukh interrogate continuously.
According to an ED official, Deshmukh’s statement has been recorded under the Money Laundering Act in an alleged bribery-cum-extortion racket of Rs 100 crore in Maharashtra Police. The ED had issued summons to Deshmukh five times in the case, but he did not appear even once. Deshmukh kept trying for legal protection from the High Court to the Supreme Court and went missing for months. He was left with no option but to appear before the probe agency after the Bombay High Court last week refused to quash the ED summons.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of ordering recovery of Rs 100 crore per month from pubs, bars, and restaurants through junior police officers of Mumbai. The High Court has handed over the investigation to the CBI in this case. After that ED’s entry was made in this case. Deshmukh’s assistant (PA) Kundan Shinde and private secretary (PS) Sanjeev Palande have already been arrested in this case. There was apprehension that Deshmukh might also be arrested.
Deshmukh suddenly appeared on Monday and appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Before reaching the ED office, Deshmukh released a video asking where is Parambir Singh, former Mumbai Police Commissioner who accused him of extortion of 100 crores. He was interrogated at the ED office for more than eight hours.
Parambir Singh involve in the racket of corruption
Deshmukh criticized Parambir Singh in a video released before his appearance at the ED office, saying, “Unscrupulous persons are themselves involved in several rackets of corruption.” The key figure holding the high post of Police Commissioner is now a wanted absconding criminal. Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of extorting 100 crores every month from Mumbai’s pubs, bars, and restaurants. After this, Deshmukh had to resign as minister in April. Last week, a Thane and Mumbai court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Singh in an alleged extortion case registered in Goregaon. But their whereabouts are not known.
It is a lie that I am avoiding before the ED
A wrong story, a false impression is being created by some vested interests that I am avoiding appearing before the Enforcement Directorate,” Deshmukh said before his appearance. This propaganda is baseless. I have demanded only transparent and fair investigation without any fear or favor. He looks forward to appearing before such impartial authorities and exposing the lies leveled against me. I hope the Enforcement officials will act in a fair manner and also clear the doubts about my cooperation in the investigation.
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