ED attaches ₹76-Cr assets of accused in Delhi excise policy case

This development comes days after ED filed a second chargesheet before a Delhi court on January 6 against 12 accused

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 24 January, 2023 11:25 pm IST
AAP's communications in-charge Vijay Nair

Moving ahead in its probe into the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communication in-charge Vijay Nair, Sameer Mahendru, Dinesh Arora, Amit Arora and Arun Pillai worth ₹76.54 crores.

According to ED officials, the financial probe agency has said that the government exchequer suffered losses worth ₹2,873 crores due to corruption in the allocation of liquor shops under the liquor policy for the year 2021-22.

The ED has attached properties to the tune of ₹35 crores of Mahendru, including the house he co-owns with his wife Geetika Mahendru in South Delhi’s upscale Jorbagh area, sources told The New Indian.

It has also attached a residential property of Amit Arora worth ₹7.68 crores in Haryana’s Gurugram and Nair’s residential property in Mumbai worth ₹1.77 crores.

Dinesh Arora’s immovable properties worth ₹3.18 crores attached by the ED include three restaurants – Chica, La Roca, and Unplugged Courtyard, said the sources cited above.

Similarly, the agency has attached immovable properties of Pillai worth ₹2.25 crores in form of land parcels in Hyderabad, Telangana.

It also attached 50 vehicles worth ₹10.23 crores owned by Indospirit Group and bank balance/fixed deposits/financial instruments worth ₹14.39 crores in the excise policy case.

The development comes days after the financial probe agency filed a second chargesheet before a Delhi court on January 6 against 12 accused. ED had arrested five of the 12 accused.

The ED arrested Nair, Sharath Reddy, Binoy Babu, Abhishek Boinpally, and Amit Arora. The ED had also named seven companies in its second chargesheet. The ED, however, did not name Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the second chargesheet.

The ED case is based on a CBI FIR filed on August 17, last year, in response to a complaint filed by Lt Governor Vinai Saxena.

The CBI has named Sisodia, who is an AAP leader, as accused number one in the case, along with his close aide Nair, who is also the former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, besides 13 private individuals across Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Karnataka, which include liquor firms Brindco and Indospirit.

The CBI had carried out searches at several locations on August 19, including Sisodia’s premises. Even so, ED had carried out searches at over 169 locations in connection with the case.

The CBI in its FIR alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licenses to accused public servants.

Last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet in the excise policy money laundering case against five persons—Mahendru, MD of Indospirits; Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd; Indospirits; Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd; and Indospirits Distribution Limited—before a Delhi court. The court took cognizance of the ED charge sheet on December 22.

In its charge sheet, the ED pointed out how attempts were made to “destroy the evidence.”

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