Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Thursday extended the custody with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of former home minister Anil Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde till July 6, in connection with the money laundering case booked against the politician.
They were arrested late on Friday night and produced before a court the next day. The court had remanded them in the agency’s custody for five days till 1 July then. Deshmukh is alleged to have sought bribes to the tune of Rs 100 crores during his tenure as the home minister from restaurants and bars in the city as well as indulged in corruption in police transfers and postings.
Palande and Shinde were arrested a day after the agency had conducted searches in the NCP leader’s home in Nagpur. The ED had told the court when producing them after their arrest, that the probe revolved around transfers and postings in the police department and extortion of restaurants and bars. Further, the court was informed that Rs. 40 lakhs was paid by 60 bar owners to now dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, taken for letting them function smoothly and as ‘good luck money’.
The ED had further told the court that their investigation had revealed that 11 companies are controlled by the former minister’s family members and that bank accounts were analyzed to find the money trail and searches conducted at residential and office premises of directors and shareholders of these companies.
The agency had further said that Shinde was associated with Deshmukh’s organization Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha in Nagpur and his custody was required to track the money and ascertain the role. Involvement of a foreign angle cannot be ruled out, the agency had told the court and said that the duo had emerged as important cogs in the wheel.