In his statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Sachin Vaze, the two-time suspended Mumbai Police officer, levelled allegations of corruption and extortion against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Here’s what Sachin Vaze told the ED:
1. DEMANDED MONEY TO CONVINCE SHARAD PAWAR
Sachin Vaze was suspended from the police force last year for his alleged involvement in the Antilia Bomb scare and Mansukh Hiren death cases.
This was his second suspension from the Mumbai Police. Sachin Vaze was among 15 police officers who were suspended in March 2004 for their involvement in the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus, a suspect in the 2002 Ghatkopar bombing case.
Vaze was reinstated in the Mumbai Police force in June 2020.
Now, in his statement to the ED, Sachin Vaze said ex-Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh had demanded Rs 2 crore to convince Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar – considered the most influential leader in Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition – over his reinstatement.
Sachin Vaze said Sharad Pawar had opposed his reinstatement in the Mumbai Police force and that Anil Deshmukh had told him that he would convince Pawar.
Anil Deshmukh had allegedly asked Sachin Vaze to shell out Rs 2 crore to get Sharad Pawar convinced. When Vaze said he was unable to pay the amount, Deshmukh had asked him to give it in due course of time, Vaze claimed.
2. REVERSAL OF ORDERS
Sachin Vaze further said that in July 2020, the then Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh had issued an order for transfer and posting of about 10 deputy commissioners of police (DCPs). He said ministers Anil Deshmukh and Anil Parab were not happy and got the order reversed.
“After three to four days, I came to know that after some adjustments and consideration of money, the said order was issued. I further state that I came to know that about a total sum of Rs 40 crore had been collected from the police officers listed in the said order, out of which Rs 20 crore each was given to Shri Anil Deshmukh through Shri Sanjeev Palande, PS to Home Minister and Shri Anil Parab through one Shri Bajrang Karmate, RTO officer,” Vaze said in his statement.
3. ANIL DESHMUKH INTERFERED WITH PROBE
Sachin Vaze also alleged that Anil Deshmukh used to call him at his office, residence, state guest house and give him directions or instruction directly in connection with various cases.
“A few cases in which I used to get direction directly from Shri Anil Deshmukh…[these include] the social media fake follower case…In social media fake follower case, he [Deshmukh] wanted to have all-out action against the culprits. In this regard, I state that I had been regularly giving updates to Shri Anil Deshmukh,” said Sachin Vaze.
4. COLLECTION OF MONEY FROM VARIOUS BARS
Sachin Vaze’s statement elaborated on the issue of the collection of money from various bars across Mumbai. Sachin Vaze told the ED that he was given a list of 1,750 bars and restaurants with instruction that Rs 3 lakh was to be collected from each of the establishments.
Rs 4.7 crore was collected by Sachin Vaze between December 2020 and February 2021, according to his statement.
Vaze said, “In January 2021, Shri Anil Deshmukh called me on my WhatsApp number from his personal mobile number and instructed me to handover collected cash till date to Shri Kundan Shinde.”
“Further, Shri Kundan Shinde immediately called me and asked me to meet him outside the guest house namely Sahyadri where I came in a black Mercedes car and handed over five bags carrying the collected money approximately [worth] Rs 1.60 crore in the denomination of Rs 500 which he kept inside a white Mercedes car of [the] minister.”
“Further, in this connection, in the month of February 2021, Shri Anil Deshmukh again called me on my personal WhatsApp number from his personal mobile number and instructed me to handover collected cash till date to Shri Kundan Shinde.”
“Further, Shri Kundan Shinde called me and asked me to meet him near Rajbhawan Signal where I went in a black Mercedes car and handed over 11 bags carrying the collected money approximately [worth] Rs 3 crore in the denomination of Rs 500 which he kept inside his black Scorpio staff car of the minister.”
“Further, I state that a constable was also inside the black Scorpio whose name I don’t remember.”
One of the bar owners, in his statement, had said that while seeking money, Sachin Vaze had said that the money was for “number one”.
The ED had asked the bar owners to elaborate on who was the “number one”. To this, Sachin Vaze said that “No.1 as referred to is Shri Anil Deshmukh, the then Home Minister of Maharashtra.”