The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday night arrested former MP Sameer Bhujbal, nephew of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, in a money laundering case in Mumbai.
The arrest comes hours after the ED conducted multiple searches in Mumbai in connection with its money laundering probe against former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and others.
ED officials had said the nine premises covered under the action included properties and offices belonging to Bhujbal, son Pankaj, nephew and ex-MP Sameer and few others.
A team of 20 officers of the Mumbai zonal unit of the agency is conducting the operation, they had said. The NCP had described the searches as "political vendetta".
"This is vendetta politics. This has been done to support BJP whose Member of Parliament (MP) Kirit Somaiya first makes a statement and then two days later, action (by ED) happens," NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik had said.
"This proves that BJP plans and the agencies execute it. Our party has full faith in (the) judiciary," he had said.
ED officials had said the investigating officer of the case was also recording the statement of Sameer at its office in Mumbai after he was summoned for questioning sometime back.
The agency's action came days after the Bombay High Court on 28 January had sought progress reports from the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau and the ED in four weeks on their probe against Bhujbal and his family members.
The agency has filed two FIRs against the Bhujbals and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), based on earlier filed Mumbai police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case.
The agency has also brought out three property attachment orders worth over Rs 280 crore in this probe case under money laundering laws.
Government, in the last Parliament session in December, had said that PMLA investigations against Bhujbal and others have showed that entities which have subscribed to companies controlled by the politician's family were "dubious" and their transactions were done only on paper.
Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, in a written reply in Lok Sabha on 18 December, had said a case has been registered by the ED against Bhujbal, his family members including MLA son Pankaj, ex-MP nephew Samir, a firm called Ms KS Chamankar Enterprises and others.
With inputs from PTI