anil dekhmukh

Money laundering case: Ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh arrested by ED after over 12 hours of questioning

Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning at its office at Ballard Estate.

He had appeared before the agency to record his statement around noon three days after the Bombay HC rejected his plea to cancel the agency’s summons in the laundering case filed against him.

He had been evading questioning by the ED for months and had exhausted his legal remedies. In the last few months, ED had raided several places to trace Deshmukh, but in vain.

ED officials were also surprised with Deshmukh’s move as he appeared before them around noon along with his advocate. The investigating officer started questioning Deshmukh just after his arrival, and the agency’s additional director flew in from Delhi in the evening to supervise the process.

Earlier, the ED had arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde for allegedly helping Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh with money laundering. The ED said Deshmukh, through Shinde, had collected Rs 4.7 crore from (now-dismissed) assistant police inspector Sachin Waze in cash. Waze was then heading the CIU branch of Mumbai police and had collected the money from orchestra bar owners of Mumbai illegally for Deshmukh.

After Deshmukh appeared before the ED, his team released a pre-recorded video message. In it, Deshmukh said ex-Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh made false allegations against him and had now fled the country. In the video, Deshmukh said, “I received ED summons, and the media wrongly reported that I wasn’t cooperating with the probe. Each time after ED summons, I replied to them stating my petition was pending before the HC and SC, after its outcome I would present myself before the ED. Me, my family and our staff cooperated with ED during the probe.”

Deshmukh also released an unsigned statement that ED should act in a fair manner. “I’m today appearing before the ED, let the truth prevail, Satyamev Jayate,” he said. He said on account of a “witch-hunt campaign” launched at the instance of vested interests, false allegations have been levelled by persons who have “no credibility, honour or pride.”

He said a false narrative has been created that he is evading or avoiding appearing before ED.

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