My main income source is agriculture: Ex-education trust treasurer held for money laundering

  • | Friday | 24th June, 2022

Mumbai, Jun 24 (PTI) A former treasurer of a Maharashtra-based education society, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, on Friday told a special PMLA court here that his primary source of income was agriculture.Appasaheb Ramachandra Deshmukh made the submission through his lawyer during a hearing on his remand extension application before special judge MG Deshpande.The court extended his ED custody till Monday (June 27).Appasaheb Deshmukh, a former treasurer of the Kolhapur-based Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Education Society (SCSES) was arrested on June 17 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a case related to alleged duping of medical aspirants in lieu of grant of admission to them in a college which was not eligible for MBBS course.The alleged fraud has been pegged at Rs 29 crore.The ED produced him before the special court at the end of his initial remand period. The federal probe agency sought his further custody for six days, saying it needed to find out the flow of proceeds of crime.The accused"s interrogation was also required to trace the end use of "huge amounts" of money which appear to have been laundered in the case, the agency said.The prime accused, Appasaheb Deshmukh, along with his co-accused conspired to commit a grave offence by generating proceeds of crime, affecting the country"s economy. Such offences are more dangerous than any other offences for a developing country, the ED said. However, opposing the remand plea, Appasaheb Deshmukh"s lawyer Ravi Jadhav told the court that his client"s prime source of income was agriculture.The advocate further told the court no tainted cash has been received by the trust (SCSES) and that the accused never signed any paper or attended any meeting related to the case.The accused appeared before the ED on June 16, a day before he was called to record his statement, Jadhav said.The former treasurer gave to the probe agency all relevant information and details (regarding income source, credit, debits, bank deposits and withdrawals) as well his involvement in functioning of the education society, Jadhav said. He has always co-operated with the investigation, the lawyer added. Earlier, the ED had said the prime accused"s brother and former president of the charitable educational society, Mahadev Ramachandra Deshmukh, was arrested by the agency in the case in May. He is in judicial custody at present.The ED said Appasaheb Deshmukh was the treasurer of the education society between 2011-2016.He, in connivance with his brother, and others “fraudulently” collected about Rs 29 crore from more than 350 students in the guise of admission in MBBS but no admission was given to the aspirants, the central agency has alleged.A probe found that in order to “hide” the source of funds and to project it as untainted, funds were collected in cash and deposited into the bank account of Appasaheb Deshmukh and his family members, the agency has alleged. PTI AVI RSY RSY

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