May 26, 2021 3:33:00 am
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday searched the residence of Sagar Bhatewar, a close aide of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, in Nagpur, in connection with its money laundering investigation against the NCP leader, sources said.
Bhatewar, sources said, is a director on the board of several firms controlled by the family of Deshmukh.
The agency is looking into the accounts of over 40 companies directly and indirectly controlled by Deshmukh and is likely to record the statements of a few other individuals who are directors on the board of companies run by the Deshmukh family, said sources.
Earlier this month, the ED registered a case against Deshmukh for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification, based on an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April. The CBI said Deshmukh used his official position to obtain certain undue advantage and had also influenced the transfers and postings in the Mumbai Police, as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The ED is probing the financial transactions of Deshmukh in line with CBI probe into allegations that the former minister had asked police officers, including the now suspended assistant police inspector (API) Sachin Waze, to illegally collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Deshmukh has denied the allegations which were made on March 20 by Singh in an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sent out after he was shunted out from his position as the Mumbai police chief.
The anti-money laundering agency has recorded the statement of a bar owner in Mumbai and has summoned four others after their names cropped up during the recording of the statement, said sources.
Waze is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Ambani house bomb scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Waze had earlier submitted a letter to the NIA court supporting the allegations made by Singh against Deshmukh and also levelled corruption charges against Transport Minister Anil Parab of the Shiv Sena.
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