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Top AAP leaders created Delhi excise policy to continuously generate, channel illegal funds: ED

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- February 02nd 2023 06:12 PM -- Updated: February 02nd 2023 06:22 PM
Top AAP leaders created Delhi excise policy to continuously generate, channel illegal funds: ED

Top AAP leaders created Delhi excise policy to continuously generate, channel illegal funds: ED

New Delhi, February 2: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its chargesheet filed in the Delhi excise policy case, has stated that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigation done so far revealed that the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was created by top leaders of the AAP to continuously generate and channel illegal funds for themselves.

The ED said the extent of involvement and abatement of the criminal activities by leaders of the AAP covered in the subject, prosecution complaint further substantiated their design and scheme of the scam.

The Delhi excise policy promoted cartel formations through backdoor, awarding an exorbitant wholesale profit margin of 12 per cent and a huge retail profit margin of 185 per cent and incentivised other illegal activities on account of criminal conspiracy by top leaders of AAP to extract kickbacks from the businesses, added the ED.

The ED said C Arvind, DANICS, Secretary to Manish Sisodia, in his statement dated December 7, 2022, stated the draft GoM report was given to him in the mid of March 2021 when he was called by Manish Sisodia to the residence of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, where Satyender Jain was also present.

The conspiracy of the GoM to give wholesale business to private entities and fix a 12 per cent margin (to get a 6 per cent kickback out from the same) was clear from the statement of C. Arvind, wherein he disclosed that there was neither any discussion in the GoM meetings about giving wholesale to private entities nor fixing 12 per cent profit margin for them.

He said it was the first time that he saw these proposals in the draft GoM report and he was directed to prepare the report on the basis of the said document, stated ED.

The ED also revealed that AAP's Vijay Nair, who orchestrated this entire scam, is not an ordinary worker of the AAP, but a close associate of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, and was closely interacting with the Deputy CM for the excise policy-related matters.

Vijay Nair had arranged a meeting of owner/controller of IndoSpirits Sameer Mahandru, with Arvind Kejriwal and when that didn't materialise, he arranged a video call through Facetime on his phone for Sameer and Arvind Kejriwal, where Kejriwal said to Sameer that "Vijay is his boy and that Sameer should trust him and carry on with him".

The ED said these facts were relevant to mention so as to establish the abatement of his actions in relation to the excise policy scam, by leaders of the AAP.

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Vijay Nair, in-charge of media and communication for the AAP, had no role in the Delhi government. In fact, he acted as a broker/liaison/middleman on behalf of top leaders of the AAP for getting bribes/kickbacks from various stakeholders in the Delhi liquor business in exchange of favourable outcomes (policy changes) in the Excise Policy of 2021-22, which was being drafted at that time.

He even "threatened" the stakeholders, who were not agreeing to his demands, that the changes suitable/desired by them might not go through entirely if they did not concede to his demands, stated the ED.

Vijay Nair, in connivance with Dinesh Arora and through him with Amit Arora, has also arm-twisted a wholesaler to surrender L1 licence and then coerced the manufacturers surrendered through that license to choose the wholesalers of his choice and favour to direct the profit margins to his co-conspirators so that there was complete control on the kickbacks to be extracted.

The ED said "Vijay Nair, on behalf of leaders of the AAP, has received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from a group, for convenience, we may call it the South Group (as termed in the statements of various persons recorded during the investigation, among which the prominent persons are Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta, Sarath Reddy and K Kavitha."

The South Group was represented by Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Pillai and Buchi Babu. Abhishek Boinpalli facilitated the transfer of Rs 100 crore kickback in connivance and conspiracy with Vijay Nair and his associate Dinesh Arora.

Investigation of the trail of this kickback so far has revealed that part of these funds was used in the election campaign of the AAP for the Goa Assembly elections in 2022. Cash payments to the tune of Rs 70 lakh were made to the volunteers, who were part of the survey teams.

Vijay Nair himself has told certain persons involved in the campaign-related work to receive the payments in cash. Advertisement/hoarding-related work was directed to raise only part of the claims in the bill and receive the remaining in cash. These part cash payments were managed through Hawala channels. Teams led by Vijay Nair have directed certain firms to even issue bogus invoices.

These kickbacks were paid in advance to the AAP leaders through Vijay Nair by the South Group as a part of an agreement between the South Group, ED stated in the chargesheet.

The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday also took cognisance of the ED chargesheet. The court is also currently examining bail petitions of Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally, P Sarath Reddy, Binoy Babu, Sameer Mahandru etc. 

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