Pune/Mumbai: After attachment of assets worth over Rs 4 crore, the Enforcement Directorate set out its teams in search of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh who had been evading questioning in a money laundering case against him and has not been contactable on his phones.
ED officials searched multiple locations in and around Nagpur since believed to be likely hideouts of the senior NCP leader.
Deshmukh is accused by ED of influencing an extortion racket involving senior police officers of the Mumbai crime branch while he was holding the office of the state home minister.
In April, Deshmukh was forced to resign after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI inquiry against him on a petition of former Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh alleging he had given targets to senior cops to extort Rs 100 crore from dance bars in Mumbai.
Sunday’s searches included Deshmukh’s ancestral village near Katol and some other suspected places he was believed to be in a bid to avert likely arrest by ED.
The senior NCP leader has skipped three summonses issued by the agency in the last couple of weeks and has been untraceable since then. His son and wife have also been summoned in the same case.
The agency has recorded confessions of his personal secretary and assistant Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde respectively, corroborating statements made by arrested police sub-inspector Sachin Waze.
The ED initiated an investigation against Deshmukh and other senior officials of the Mumbai police based on the CBI FIR that had alleged the existence of a serious extortion racket in Mumbai involving the former Maharashtra home minister. The agency is also likely to question former Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh.