The Central Bureau of Investigation on Sunday made the first arrest of an alleged middleman in connection with the corruption charges involving former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and others.
The accused has been identified as Santosh Jagtap. The CBI has got his custody till November 4 from a Mumbai court.
“Despite repeated summons, he did not join the investigation and had gone underground in August. Therefore, we got a non-bailable warrant from the competent court and arrested him,” said an agency official.
It is alleged that Mr. Jagtap operated as a middleman for the transfer and posting of officials.
The agency had registered the case in April, after a preliminary enquiry conducted on the directions of the Bombay High Court. Mr. Deshmukh resigned from the Council of Ministers post following the court directive.
During the enquiry, the CBI recorded the statements of several persons, including Mr. Deshmukh, former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh and the now ousted Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze.
Based on the CBI case, the Enforcement Directorate initiated a money laundering probe and arrested Kundan Sambhaj Shinde, the then personal assistant of Mr. Deshmukh, and his then personal secretary, Sanjeev Suryakant Palande.
The ED has summoned Mr. Deshmukh several times to record his statement. However, he has not yet appeared before the probe team in person.
The agency claimed to have identified 11 companies directly controlled by Mr. Deshmukh's family members and 13 others that are in the name of close associates.
In July, the ED had also provisionally attached assets worth ₹.4.20 crore held in the name of Mr. Deshmukh’s wife, Aarti, and Premier Port Links Private Limited. They included a residential flat in Mumbai's Worli and 25 land parcels worth ₹2.67 crore, located in Raigarh, Maharashtra.