The former home minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the ED after 12 hours of questioning on late Monday. On Monday, November 1, Deshmukh took to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at around 12:00 PM and at around 1:15 AM, it was finally reported that he was arrested by the law agency. Reportedly ED has carried out a wide investigation under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) in connection with a fraud on a tune of Rs. 100 crores. Earlier, former Maharashtra top cop Param Bir Singh had accused that Deshmukh had asked the now dismissed former cop Sachin Vaze to collect over Rs. 100 crores from Mumbai’s hotels and bars.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra minister has categorically denied all the allegations that ED has levelled against him since the case intensified. Anil Deshmukh has also gone on to allege that ED has been “unfair” in its probe and there’s a “witch-hunt” against him.

Background

After former top cop from Mumbai Police SachinVaze was arrested by the NIA in the Ambani car bomb scare, a new case emerged from the ashes of the car bomb case. Reportedly, Mumbai Police officer Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray in the wake of the case. In his letter, Singh alleged that Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh had directed Assistant Police Inspector SachinVaze to “collect’ Rs. 100 crores from bars, restaurants and similar establishments.

Since then, the ED has been collecting evidences, most of which indicate that Deshmukh was indeed involved in money laundering.


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The Facts of the Matter

Former home minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on November 2 after 12-hours of marathon questioning at the Mumbai ED office. Deshmukh was arrested in his alleged involvement in the money laundering case. The arrest came after Deshmukh missed 5 ED summons and took to the Bombay High Court to squash the summons. In response to his request, the High Court refused to grant Deshmukh relief.


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Anil Deshmukh Money Laundering Case: The Beginning

The beginnings of this case can be traced back to February when an explosive laden car was identified outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani. Amid the investigation, it was revealed that Mumbai police officer SachinVaze was involved in the case. Along with Vaze, police officer Parambir Singh was also removed from the post of Mumbai commissioner of police.

Another twist in the tale emerged when Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter accusing former minister Anil Deshmukh had asked Sachin Vaze to collect Rs. 100 crores from Mumbai’s hotels and bars.


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Bombay High Court’s Approval of Probe into Deshmukh

After the allegation was made, the Bombay High Court allowed Central Bureau of Investigation to probe and soon, Deshmukh resigned from his post of home minister. In his statement, Deshmukh cited “moral grounds” as the reason for his resignation and further added, “I don’t want to continue as Home Minister as an investigation is on.”

What ED Found Against Anil Deshmukh

The ED soon got its hands on the investigation and Anil Deshmukh was on the front and center of the case. The ED found out that Sachin Vaze collected Rs. 4.70 crores from bars of Mumbai between December 2020 and February 2021. The money was handed to home minister Deshmukh through the latter’s assistant.

The money was then deposited into 4 shell companies – all Delhi based. These shell companies donated the entire sum to a charitable trust called Shikshan Sansthan Trust. Interestingly, the trust is headed by Deshmukh and his family.