CBI banking on Waze’s statement in Rs 100 cr extortion case against Deshmukh

The CBI has shown former Mumbai cop Sachin Waze as an approver in its over 49-page charge-sheet filed in connection with the Rs 100 crore extortion case involving former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, his two personal secretaries Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde, and others.

Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has also been accused in the matter.

The CBI sources said that Waze’s statement will play a crucial role to prove the case of the prosecution as he has turned approver.

“Deshmukh and Waze used to talk over phone frequently. Between December 2020 and February 2021, Waze allegedly colleted around Rs 4.70 crore from the owners of Orchestra bar situated across Mumbai.

“Deshmukh’s PA Shinde allegedly collected the said amount from Waze, while Palande allegedly passed instructions on behalf of Deshmukh,” a CBI source said quoting the charge-sheet.

The CBI had in March got the permission from a special Mumbai court to record the statement of Deshmukh. The CBI sleuths subsequently visited the Arthur Road Jail and recorded Deshmukh’s statement on March 3, 4 and 5.

The CBI also recorded the statements of seven other persons in connection with the case, who were reportedly deployed in the security of Deshmukh.

Singh had accused Deshmukh of forcing him to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai. He levelled these allegations after he was removed from the police commissioner’s post. Deshmukh had denied all allegations levelled against him.

On April 21, 2021, the CBI had filed an FIR against Deshmukh and had initiated a probe. Sources said that Deshmukh’s financial transactions of the last three years are under scanner.

On November 1, 2021, Deshmukh was placed under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a Rs 100 crore money laundering case pertaining to alleged posting and transfer of officials.

(Atul Krishan can be approached at atul.k@ians.in)

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