Chhagan Bhujbal's nephew Samir arrested on money laundering charges

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested former MP Samir Bhujbal, nephew of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, in a money laundering case in Mumbai after the agency conducted multiple searches in connection with its probe against Bhujbals and others.

Samir Bhujbal was arrested after over six hours of questioning under the provision of the PMLA at the agency's office in Ballard Tiar here. He will be produced in court tomorrow, official sources said.

They claimed he was not cooperating with the investigators and hence his custodial interrogation was necessary.

Earlier in the day, the ED conducted searches on at least nine premises, including properties and offices, belonging to former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, son Pankaj, nephew and ex-MP Samir and few others.

A team of 20 officers of the Mumbai zonal unit of the agency conducted the operation. 

Meanwhile, the NCP 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. 

The agency's action came days after the Bombay High Court on January 28 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.

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