The enforcement directorate (ED) has alleged that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer worked together to generate huge funds.
The agency, in its remand report submitted to the court, alleged that Chhagan is one of the key conspirators and played a crucial role in laundering huge amounts of money.
According to the report, they recorded the statements of people associated with the Bhujbals’ Mumbai Educational Trust in Bandra. “They have confirmed that huge amount of money was paid to market operators at MET office by Sameer to convert (cash) into cheque payments and that he was not do any business to generate the money,” read the report.
ED alleged that the “source of this cash was Chaggan Bhujbal who was a powerful minister of the Maharashtra government”. The agency alleged that Bhujbal visited MET once or twice a month and that he was aware about these activities. “The close associates have deposed that whenever cash was brought to the MET office and if Chhagan was present, Sameer used to brief him,” the report read.
The agency, while seeking his remand, stated that Chhagan initially refused to co-operate with the investigators on the point of these statements. Officials said when he was told that he will be brought face to face with his close associates from MET, he started to complain about restlessness and other health issues.
Subsequently, a team of doctors from JJ Hospital and St George’s Hospital examined him and they said there was no medical emergency.
The ED alleged that time was wasted in this process and they were unable to interrogate Chhagan. When the officials later confronted him on the statements of his associates, he “shrugged off the material facts with a simple answer that he was not aware of the same”.
The officials also alleged that their investigations have pointed out they have “material pointing out cash generation of almost Rs200 crore that directly points to Chhagan Bhujbal”. They said “huge donations were given to the Chhagan Bhujbal Foundation by several contractors of the Kalina library , Maharashtra Sadan and RTO projects”.