ED attaches Anil Deshmukh’s Worli flat, properties in Uran
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached properties worth ₹4.20 crore of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. The properties include the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader’s flat in Worli.
“The attached assets are in the form of one residential flat valued at ₹1.54 crore located at Worli and 25 land parcels of book value ₹ 2.67 crore at Dhutum village in Uran of neighbouring Raigad district,” said an ED officer.
The properties, according to ED officers, are held in the name of Deshmukh’s wife Aarti and a company named Premier Port Links Pvt Ltd.
With regards to the Worli flat, ED officers said their investigation has revealed that the flat was purchased by the NCP leader in 2004 by paying entire consideration in cash and the same was registered in the name of Aarti Deshmukh, but the sale deed for the flat was registered in February 2020 after Deshmukh became home minister.
According to ED officers, Deshmukhs acquired 50% ownership in M/s Premier Port Links Pvt Ltd including its assets, ie land and shops, “totally valued at approximately ₹5.34 crore (book value) by merely paying ₹17.95 lakh, that too after a substantial gap.”
ED has initiated money laundering investigation against Deshmukh and his family members on the basis of a first information report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly “attempting to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of his public duty for collection of funds to achieve the target of ₹100 crore per month from various bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.”
CBI had registered the FIR on April 21 followed by a detailed preliminary enquiry as ordered by the Bombay high court (HC) on April 5. The HC order came on a bunch of petitions including one filed by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh who had levelled allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
In his letter to the chief minister and others, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh not only interfered in policing matters but also summoned some Mumbai Police officers directly at his official bungalow and informed them that he had target of collecting ₹100 crore per month from Mumbai. Singh had further alleged that Deshmukh had even provided the officers with a list of bars in Mumbai, suggesting collection of ₹3-4 lakh per month from each of them.
ED’s investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 has revealed that Deshmukh had, while acting as Maharashtra home minister, received illegal gratification of approximately ₹4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners. The amount was purportedly collected by dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Antilia explosives scare and murder of Thane-based auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran.
ED’s probe has further revealed that Deshmukh’s family allegedly routed about ₹4.18 crore of the tainted money through Delhi-based dummy companies as donations to Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, an educational trust at Nagpur which is controlled by Deshmukh family.