The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal in connection with a money laundering case registered against him and others in the high profile Maharashtra Sadan case.
Earlier on Monday, ED office had summoned Bhujbal, who was accompanied by MLC Jitendra Awhad, at its Ballard Pier office in South Mumbai amid tight security around 11.30 AM.
A large number of party workers who had gathered outside the ED office raised slogans even as prohibitory orders were put in place to avoid any untoward incident.
The ED had registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case involving the Bhujbals and some of their associates and has already arrested the ex-minister's nephew Samir last month in the case.
Samir is currently lodged in the high security Arthur Road jail here. The ED had also questioned Bhujbal's son Pankaj in the same case last month.
The agency has filed two FIRs against the Bhujbals and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case. It had also brought out orders for attachment of three properties with an estimated worth of over Rs 280 crore in the case under money laundering laws.
ED had twice conducted searches at nine premises, including properties and offices, belonging to the senior Bhujbal, Pankaj, Samir and few others. NCP had then described the searches as "political vendetta".
The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has already filed a charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Sameer and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case. The new Maharashtra Sadan was built at the cost of Rs 100 crore when Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.
Police sources said that around 125 police personnel headed by DCP Zone-I, Manoj Kumar Sharma were present at the spot even as roads leading to the office were barricaded on both sides.
With inputs from Agencies