The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned Maharashtra transport and parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab for the third consecutive day. The agency is probing the alleged money-laundering and possible coastal regulation zone (CRZ) violations linked to a piece of land at Dapoli in Ratnagiri district on which two resorts have been built.
Parab, 57, a three-time legislator in the legislative council, reached the ED office at Ballard Estate around 3 pm and left at 9.10 pm.
Speaking to media persons outside the agency office, Parab said, “I answered all the questions asked to me. I have been coming to the ED office for the last three days.”
When asked about the Shiv Sena MLAs joining the Eknath Shinde camp fearing ED (action), he said, “I am here. I am also an MLA, but I just came out of the ED office [and am not going anywhere].”
The agency grilled the Sena leader, who is also a close confidant of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, for nearly seven hours and 11 hours on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively.
Parab is the third minister in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government to face a probe by a central agency. The ED registered a case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on a complaint filed by a scientist with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on March 10, 2022, in the court of judicial magistrate first class at Dapoli.
The complainant has sought to prosecute Parab Sai Resort and Sea Conch Resort, both located at Murud in Dapoli tehsil, claiming that the minister had violated the CRZ norms by constructing the structures in the no-development zone (CRZ-III), and discharging polluting material in a sea stream, which results in damaging the ecologically sensitive area.