New Delhi [India] : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken into custody the Aam Aadmi Party’s communication in-charge Vijay Nair and businessman Abhishek Boinpally in connection with the alleged Delhi Excise Policy scam for questioning, sources said on Monday.
The federal agency will produce both Nair and Boinpally before a special court seeking their remand custody. The ED has taken both the accused into custody from Tihar jail.
After getting the custody of both accused, the ED will question them in connection with its ongoing probe into Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 money laundering case.
Nair was arrested on September 27 by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his alleged role in irregularities pertaining to the Delhi government’s excise policy. An FIR was lodged after LG VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe.
The CBI has alleged that Nair was involved in meeting the other co-accused and liquor manufacturers as well as distributors at various hotels in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi for arranging “ill-gotten money through hawala operators”.
The CBI investigation has also revealed that Boinpally was part of the meetings with the other accused persons in the case, including liquor businessmen, in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
The central agency had told a court that Boinpally was part of the conspiracy to launder money along with another accused, liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru, who has already been arrested and is currently lodged in Tihar jail.
Now, ED will question both Nair and Bonipally in the case. The agency’s action came days after it arrested two businessmen among Pharma company head Sharath Chandra Reddy.
In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case.
Among the accused persons in the case were Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the then Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
Other persons accused are Manoj Rai, a former employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, director of Brindco Sales; director of Buddy Retail Amit Arora, and Dinesh Arora; authorised signatories of Mahadev Liquors Sunny Marwah, Arun Ramchandra Pillai and Arjun Pandey.
The ED and the CBI have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.
As alleged, the Excise Department has decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fee was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. (ANI)