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Vasooli-gate: Anil Deshmukh grilled and arrested; ED to seek remand

The former Maharashtra Home Minister was placed under arrest post-midnight after 12 hours of questioning. The agency will produce him before a local court on Tuesday.

Extortion case Anil Deshmukh grilled and arrested; ED to seek remand
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Mumbai, First Published Nov 2, 2021, 8:16 AM IST
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The Enforcement Directorate is all set to seek the remand of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the Rs 100-crore extortion and money laundering case. Deshmukh was placed under arrest post-midnight after 12 hours of questioning. The agency will produce him before a local court on Tuesday.

The 71-year-old was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Agency sources said that the arrest happened as Deshmukh was being evasive during questioning with regard to his role in the extortion case. However, the NCP leader's lawyer, Inderpal Singh, claimed that his client had fully cooperated with the Enforcement Directorate.

The former minister had joined the ED probe after skipping multiple summons from the agency to join the investigation into the allegations of extortion and money laundering against him. Deshmukh was forced to appear before the agency after the Bombay High Court rejected his plea last week to quash the summons against him.

The ED had been wanting to question him with regard to the sensational charges made by former Mumbai Police Commission Param Bir Singh, who, at present, is underground following the investigation against him. In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after being sacked from the Mumbai top cop post, Param Bir Singh had claimed that Deshmukh had directed police officers to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from restaurants and bars in Mumbai. 

Deshmukh, who had been skipping the ED's summons for the last four months, has rubbished the allegations time and again. The ED, which had in August filed its charge sheet, alleged that Deshmukh misused his position as state home minister to collect Rs 4.7 crore from hoteliers and bar owners for their 'smooth functioning'.

The charge sheet booked Deshmukh's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under PMLA. According to the ED charge sheet, during the investigation, the agency allegedly identified 24 private entities controlled by the Deshmukh family that were engaging in high-value transactions without any rationale.

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