Former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on late Monday evening after a 9 hour long probe. ED is probing a money laundering case related to construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. The agency claims caused a loss of Rs 870 crore to the exchequer.
The ED is probing alleged kickbacks received by Bhujbal and his relatives for favouring contractors in construction of the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and the Kalina Central Library, works which were awarded when he was state PWD minister. Bhujbal was the PWD Minister of Maharashtra from November 2004 to September 2014.
The ED has alleged that the Bhujbals received cash in lieu of projects awarded to contractors and “channeled such illegal cash into various companies and integrated it into business activities” of companies controlled by them and their associates.
Bhujbal had reached ED office in Mumbai at around 11.30 am Monday along with a lot of documents and bank statements. He was accompanied by his lawyer and a few NCP leaders.
Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders to avoid any untoward incident.
While entering the office, Chhagan bhujbal Bhujbal told reporters: “I am a victim of political vendetta but I will cooperate with the investigation.”
ED sources said Bhujbal was questioned on large sums of cash, allegedly laundered with the help of hawala operators into shell companies floated by his nephew Sameer — he has already been arrested — and son Pankaj. The ED has seized passports of Bhujbal and Pankaj.