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Over Rs 4.5 crore paid by bar owners to Anil Deshmukh’s trusts via shell companies, ED reveals

As many as 24 companies directly or indirectly controlled by Anil Deshmukh’s family members or close associates are under the scanner.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) during the remand hearing of ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde on Saturday said that crores of rupees were channeled to his trust through dummy companies.

As per reports, Vaze collected Rs 4.70 crore from bar owners between December 2020 and February 2021 on the instructions of Anil Deshmukh. The money was then sent to Deshmukh’s private assistant, Kundan Shinde which was routed to Anil Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust run by his son through four shell companies.

According to the ED remand application, reviewed by The Indian Express, Vaze reportedly handed over Rs 4.70 crore collected from bars for “smooth functioning” as “good luck” money to Shinde.

Giving their statement to ED, some prominent bar owners revealed that in December, 60 orchestra bar owners paid Rs 40 lakh to Vaze as “good luck” which resulted in the collection of Rs 4.30 crore.

Rs 4.18 crore out of the total Rs 4.70 crore was deposited in cash with four Delhi-based companies- Reliable Finance Corporation Pvt. Ltd, VA Realcon Pvt. Ltd., Utsav Securities Pvt. Ltd. and Sital Leasing and finance Pvt. ltd. These firms then “donated” the entire money to Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha Trust, an educational charitable trust headed by Anil Deshmukh’s family.

As per ED, the four Delhi-based shell companies are run by brothers Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain. In a statement to the ED, the Jain brothers revealed that they were asked to give “transfer/adjustment entries in garb of donation to Shri Sai Shikshan Sanshtha, Nagpur.”

“Accordingly money was received in form of cash on instruction of Deshmukh family and same was channelized through web of various companies to trust in garb of donations. A total of approx. Rs 4 crores were thus diverted to the said trust in the garb of loans/donations,” read the remand application.

The ED has also informed that the transactions were being looked after by Anil Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh.

This application was submitted in the special court that was hearing the agency’s plea to grant custody of Shinde and Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande.

In an important update, the Special PMLA court has granted the custody of Kundan Shinde and Sanjeev Palande till 1st July to ED.

Advocates appearing for Shinde and Palande, however, have claimed ED’s probe to be ‘politically motivated’ and said that their clients in no way are linked to the case. 

Anil Deshmukh fails to turn up at ED office

As many as 24 companies directly or indirectly controlled by Anil Deshmukh’s family members or close associates are under the scanner.

As per the ED document, “The various bank account statements of these entities and individuals were analysed, and it was revealed that money was flowing from companies indirectly controlled by family members of Anil Deshmukh to companies directly controlled by family members of Deshmukh and vice-a-versa. An analysis revealed that there is no rationale for transfers and it can thus be said that these series of transactions were meant for inflating balance sheets and layering of money from one company to other.”

Anil Deshmukh, who was summoned by the ED, did not turn up before the directorate yesterday. Instead, his lawyers visited the ED office asking for a copy of the case filed and the documents related to it. 

ED carried out raids after establishing a money trail of Rs 4 crore extortion money

Around eight ED officials reached Deshmukh’s residence at 7.30 PM on Friday along with a team of Central Reserve Police Force personnel and began the search. The ED officials barred anyone from entering or exiting the residence as they continued their search.

The ED had raided the residence of Anil Deshmukh after establishing a money trail of Rs 4 crore, allegedly paid by about 10 bar owners in Mumbai to the then Home Minister Deshmukh over three months. Based on the new evidence, the ED had carried out searches at these locations, including Deshmukh’s residence and the premises of his personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande.

Following the searches, Deshmukh’s aides were arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after about nine hours of intense questioning.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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