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HomePoliticsIndiaVaze describes to ED Deshmukh's ways of extortion

Vaze describes to ED Deshmukh’s ways of extortion

Vaze, an assistant inspector of Mumbai Police, was arrested in March for parking an explosive-laden car near Mukesh Ambani's house

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Dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze has alleged in his statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh had asked him to collect money from bar and hotel owners, and used to give instructions in high-profile investigations.

Earlier, police commissioner Param Bir Singh had Deshmukh of asking Vaze to collect money from bar owners in Mumbai, an allegation which Deshmukh, who later resigned, denied.

Vaze’s statement is part of a charge-sheet recently filed by the ED against Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde in an alleged money laundering case.

Vaze, an assistant inspector of Police, was in this year in a case of SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s south Mumbai residence.

Vaze told the ED that on 16 June 2020, he met Deshmukh at the state guest house Sahyadri where the then state home minister told him that together “they will do good cases”.

Thereafter, Deshmukh used to call him frequently to take updates on various cases directly and at times for personal work such as arranging vehicles, the statement said.

Vaze says he got instructions from Deshmukh on the TRP rigging case too ― where some TV channels were accused of manipulating viewership statistics to exaggerate the impression about the channels, and the abetment to suicide case regarding the death of architect Anvay Naik in which journalist Arnab Goswami was arrested, as per Vaze’s statement.

To another query, Vaze alleged that at a meeting held in October, 2020 at Deshmukh’s residence “Dyneshwari” the NCP gave him a list of 1,750 bars and restaurants and asked him to collect Rs 3 lakh each from these establishments for granting various favours.

The charge sheet has not named Deshmukh or his members as accused, but says that Vaze collected money from bars and restaurants at the behest and instructions of Deshmukh and the amount was handed over to Deshmukh’s aides Palande and Shinde.

Deshmukh received approximately Rs 4.70 crore, collected from orchestra bar owners, and this money was routed to the Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha Trust, managed by the Deshmukh family, as donations, the ED charge sheet alleged.

The ED launched a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the senior Nationalist Congress Party on 21 April following allegations made by Param Bir Singh.

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