ED opposes Anil Deshmukh’s bail request; alleges ‘money laundering’ worth Rs 13.25 crore

In a key development, the ED has demanded the dismissal of the bail application of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case. The response filed by ED Deputy Director Tassine Sultan in the PMLA Special Court explained the alleged modus operandi by which Deshmukh and his family members laundered money worth 13.25 crores rupees. Initially, he contended that Rs.4.70 crore was collected by dismissed Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze from the owners of orchestra bars from Dec 2020 to Feb 2021 and handed over to the chef’s personal assistant of the NCP, Kundan Shinde.

According to the ED, this money was then routed to front companies and then transferred to the bank account of Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, a Trust allegedly formed by the Deshmukh family. Moreover, the central agency added that these funds were transferred to various accounts of companies controlled directly and indirectly by members of the family of the former interior minister of Maharashtra. Sultan objected to granting bail citing that Deshmukh might try to influence the investigation.

The response seen by Republic TV stated: “Review of the records of Trust Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha revealed that the applicant used the above explained modus operandi to launder his unaccounted money. Investigations revealed that the applicant, in connivance with his family members, laundered unaccounted cash money totaling approximately Rs 13.25 crore and incorporated into Trust bank account under the guise of donation, since 2011 Delhi-based shell companies of the Jain brothers (Surendra and Virendra Jain) the modus operandi of injecting money in the form of social capital through shell companies and projecting it as legitimate has built a formidable empire of businesses.”

The ED pointed out: “It is likely that the defendant will attempt to influence the investigation and witnesses and/or obscure the trail of the proceeds of crime. Further, the defendant, when recording his statement in the custody of the ED, revealed several facts regarding the transfers In addition, the plaintiff amassed enormous wealth during his public service the source of which is still unexplained and even the plaintiff himself did not cooperate and was unable to explain the sources of his wealth and hid the true facts.”

ED case against Anil Deshmukh

Anil Deshmukh’s troubles began on February 20 when former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh brought charges of “extortion” against him. In a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Singh alleged that the NCP leader asked Sachin Vaze to extort Rs 100 crore per month from 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai. After the HC ordered the CBI to carry out a preliminary investigation into these allegations, Deshmukh resigned as Home Minister and was replaced by Dilip Walse Patil.

The ED filed an ECIR against Anil Deshmukh on May 11 under the PMLA for allegedly obtaining an unlawful gratuity which was based on the bribery case registered by the CBI. After skipping summonses 5 times, Anil Deshmukh appeared before the ED at its Mumbai office on November 1 as the Bombay High Court rejected his plea challenging the summons issued to him by the central agency. He was subsequently taken into custody in the early hours of the following day. So far, the PMLA Special Court in Mumbai has refused to grant him redress and as a result, Deshmukh continues to languish in Arthur Road Jail.

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