Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested two aides of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials familiar with the matter said. Sanjeev Palande, Deshmukh’s personal secretary, and Kundan Shinde, his personal assistant, were arrested in connection with charges of money laundering against the politician who allegedly took a bribe of up to 100 crores.
Even after around nine hours of questioning at the central agency’s Ballard Estate office in Mumbai, the two aides to the former home minister failed to cooperate with the investigating officers. Their next appearance will be at a Mumbai PMLA court later in the day, where the ED will seek to interrogate them in custody.
Detectives had raided the offices of both men and Deshmukh earlier, one in Mumbai and the other in Nagpur. The search began at 7.30 pm with the arrival of eight ED officials and a team of Central Reserve Police Force personnel at Deshmukh’s residence. There was no entry allowed into the house, and the search continued until this report was filed.
Anil Deshmukh, the former home minister of Maharashtra, is being investigated by the ED for allegations of money laundering. In a statement issued after Param Bir Singh, the former Chief of The Mumbai Police claims that Deshmukh instructed policemen to pick up ?100 crores from businesses.
After the allegations surfaced, Deshmukh was forced to resign as state home minister. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which also raided Deshmukh’s Nagpur residence in April, has filed a First Information Report against Deshmukh under both the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy). The ED filed a criminal case against Deshmukh on May 11 under the anti-money laundering law.