For the third day in a row, state Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab was questioned for more than six hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday. He was summoned in connection with a money laundering case linked to a resort at the coastal hill station of Dapoli.
The Sena leader on Thursday reached ED office at 2.45 pm and left by around 9 pm.
ED officials had instructed Parab to appear with necessary documents. He was questioned accordingly and was allowed to go, an ED official said.
Speaking to media persons outside the ED office, the minister said, “For the last three days, I have been appearing before the ED. I have answered every question raised by the officials.”
On March 8, the income-tax department had searched 26 premises in Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri and Sangli, which were linked to Bajrang Kharmate, a deputy regional transport officer (RTO) known to be close to Parab, and Sadanand Kadam, a cable operator from Mumbai. During the searches, the investigators are learnt to have discovered irregularities relating to the purchase of a parcel of land by Parab in Dapoli in 2017.
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The department had then said that Parab had registered the land only in 2019, while the resort was developed on it between 2017 and 2020. It had alleged that Rs 6 crore were spent on developing the resort, which was sold to Kadam in 2020 for just Rs 1.1 crore. The cost of building the resort “had not been accounted for” by either Kadam or Parab, it had said.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had also made several complaints to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change against Parab alleging that the Dapoli-based Sai resort violates several coastal regulation zone rules.
Subsequently, the ED registered an Enforcement Case Information Report of money laundering, following which it raided seven premises linked to Parab and people close to him. The agency has already questioned Shiv Sena leaders Sadanand Kadam and Sanjay Kadam in the case.