The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a fresh order attaching assets worth Rs 20.41 crore in connection with its money laundering probe against former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and others. The zonal office of the central probe agency here said it has issued an order for provisional attachment of assets under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). “These five properties include bungalows, flats and office spaces situated at Mumbai, Nashik and Pune controlled by Bhujbal,” it said. With the latest order, the total attachment of properties in the case stands at Rs 178 crore, it said. The former deputy chief minister and NCP leader is currently in jail after being arrested by the agency last year. Bhujbal’s son and NCP legislator Pankaj and his nephew Sameer are also accused in this case.
According to the ED, the Bhujbal family had allegedly conspired with several others to divert or “launder” kickbacks received by Chhagan, when he was Maharashtra public works department minister. The money laundering charges against them relate to a contract for construction of state guest house- Maharashtra Sadan – in Delhi and the Kalina land grabbing case in Mumbai. The agency had filed a charge sheet in the case against Bhujbal and 52 others. It had registered the PMLA case against him in 2015.