Bhujbal PMLA case: ED attaches Rs.110 crore-worth assets

Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday attached suburban properties worth around Rs.110 crore linked to senior Nationalist Congress Party leader and former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

One of the properties is located in the upmarket Bandra and another in Santacruz with both being in the name of Pravesh Constructions, a company run by the Bhujbal family.

The ED action on Tuesday was initiated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“These properties have no relation with me… I am not aware of this. I wonder why the ED has done this (taken action). I demand a fair probe,” Bhujbal, now a legislator, told media persons in Nagpur.

Senior Mumbai BJP leader and MP Kirit Somaiya, who has made a series of exposes against the Bhujbal family, said the ED action pertained to certain old cases filed by the department and Anti-Corruption Bureau.

“They are several properties linked to the Bhujbals, plus they have made investments abroad. It needs to be probed where all the funds have been parked,” Somaiya said.

In June, the ED filed two Enforcement Case Investigation Reports against Bhujbal, his son Pankaj, nephew Samir and 19 others under the PMLA for alleged illegal financial transactions worth several billion rupees.

The Bhujbal cousins – Pankaj and Samir — were the directors of Parvesh Constructions which is engaged in redevelopment of old buildings in Mumbai.

The ACB has lodged two separate cases against Bhujbals and other in the Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi scam and the Kalina, Mumbai land scam which are currently under investigation.

Bhujbal, 68, a prominent OBC leader and once a close aide of the late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, later defected to the Congress in 1991.

Subsequently, he left the Congress to join the Sharad Pawar-led NCP and served as Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister between October 1999 and December 2003.

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