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Shiv Sena leader and Member of Parliament,Sanjay Raut was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case related to redevelopment of a Mumbai 'chawl', after the agency found alleged irregularities in its redevelopment. The Shiv Sena leader was arrested after over over six hours of questioning at the ED's zonal office in south Mumbai's Ballard Estate.

Sanjay Raut was taken into custody at 12:05 am on Monday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was not cooperating in the probe, the officials claimed. The ED probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra 'chawl' and related financial property transactions involving his wife and alleged associates.

Sanjay Raut will be produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai on Monday where the Enforcement Directorate will seek his custody. Earlier an ED team reached his residence on Sunday and conducted an extensive and also seized 11.5 lakh cash, Ed officials said.

Before entering the ED office, Raut told reporters that the ED's action was aimed at trying to weaken the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra and that a "false" case was prepared against him.

In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth over 11.15 crore of Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation.

The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut's aide and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, at Palghar, Saphale (town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).

The attached properties also include a flat in Mumbai's suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, the ED said in a statement.

According to the ED, Sujit Patkar is a close associate of Sanjay Raut. After arresting Pravin Raut in February, the ED had said he appears to be "acting as a front" or in collusion with some influential person(s).

The agency had said during the probe it was revealed he made payments to certain "politically exposed persons".

*With inputs from agencies

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