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Anil Deshmukh News: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh entered into deals through web of companies; ED to court | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: A few hours after the post-midnight arrest of former state home minister Anil Deshmukh (72), the Enforcement Directorate produced him before a special holiday court on Tuesday, stating he was the key person in the Rs 100 crore money laundering case and the agency needed to investigate a “foreign angle” in the case apart from establishing the money trail.

The court remanded Deshmukh (72) in ED custody till November 6.

The ED said Deshmukh has emerged as “the important cog in the wheel” and that he was the “prime beneficiary of the proceeds of crime.” The ED said his sustained interrogation is required to get to the bottom of nefarious deals entered into by the accused through a complex web of companies.
Deshmukh, dressed in a white kurta pyjama, was produced in court at 12.30 pm.
Opposing Deshmukh’s custody, his lawyer Vikram Choudhari told the court his client’s shoulder is dislocated and he needs constant support. He said Deshmukh had recovered from Covid in February, has a heart ailment and is suffering from hypertension. The court allowed his plea for home food and medicine during ED custody, advocate Aniket Nikam said. They denied Deshmukh had not co-operated with investigations.
The ED’s remand said that with help of close associates, the Deshmukh family was indirectly controlling and managing business activities in various companies and laundering money by creating a complex web of transactions.
The ED cited three instances to explain his modus operandi to convert unaccounted cash he received via illegal means into legitimate money through suspicious companies.
“These entities appear a vehicle for conversion for cash into cheques through these benami transactions,” the ED’s remand plea submitted and argued by ASG Anil Singh said. The ED sought Deshmukh’s 14-day custody. In one of the instances, ED cited the statement of Samit Isaacs, who was director along with Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh in 3 companies. ED alleged that it was found they have purchased a company, Greenland Buildspace Pvt Ltd, with an underlying asset value of Rs 4.75 crore for only Rs 3.75 lakh from one Sanjay Kondawar. The ED said it was to be noted that the balance sheet of the company did not have any underlying liabilities at the time.
ED’s investigations found payment for a Worli flat owned by Deshmukh in the name of wife Aarti was made entirely by cash in 2004, but the sale deed was done in February 2020 when he was home minister.
Further, ED submitted Deshmukh’s family acquired 50% ownership of Premier Port Links Pvt Ltd including its assets, land and shops, total book value of around Rs 5.34 crore by merely paying Rs 17.95 lakh, that too after a substantial gap. These properties were provisionally attached in July 2021 under the PMLA Act. A source said the currently market value of land owned by the company in Uran is worth several hundred crores.
ED alleged that during his questioning on Monday, Deshmukh refused to co-operate and did not provide the required details, which led to his arrest. The ED stated that analysis of various bank accounts of entities allegedly utilised for the purpose of infusion of Deshmukh’s ill-gotten money reveals the money is flowing from companies indirectly controlled by his family members to companies directly controlled by his family and vice versa.
The ED is investigating the money laundering case based on the CBI FIR where former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged that state home minister (Deshmukh) had asked now-dismissed API Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from bar owners every month.
The ED remand stated Deshmukh, by virtue of his position as home minister, received Rs 4.7 crore, collected from orchestra bar owners and managers during the pandemic. Deshmukh’s CA, Sudhir Baheti, told ED he had introduced Delhi-based hawala operators to Hrishikesh. Rs 4.18 crore ( in various tranches) was received by the trust from the paper companies of the hawala operators in the garb of donation.
The defence said those who made allegations are themselves embroiled in multiple cases and one person is nowhere to be found. The ED said in spite of summoning him several times, Deshmukh had never appeared. The media was not allowed entry into the court room due to “overcrowding”, the judge noted.

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