Delhi excise policy: ED arrests businessman Amit Arora on money laundering charges

| | New Delhi
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Delhi excise policy: ED arrests businessman Amit Arora on money laundering charges

Wednesday, 30 November 2022 | PTI | New Delhi

Delhi excise policy: ED arrests businessman Amit Arora on money laundering charges

The ED has arrested businessman Amit Arora in connection with its money laundering probe into alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case, official sources said Wednesday.

Arora is the director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited located in Gurugram. This is the sixth arrest in this case by the Enforcement Directorate.

The businessman was arrested last night under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

He is expected to be produced before a local court where the agency will seek his custody, the sources said.

The ED case of money laundering stems from a CBI FIR.

The CBI, in its first chargesheet filed in the case last week, claimed that Amit Arora, with two other accused, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey, are "close associates" of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and were actively involved in "managing" and "diverting" the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees for the accused public servants.

The ED also filed its first chargesheet (prosecution complaint) in the case last week, naming arrested businessman Sameer Mahandru, his company Indospirit, and a few other entities.

Both agencies are expected to file more such complaints before the court, as the investigation progresses.

The CBI has also got Dinesh Arora to turn approver in the case.

Dinesh Arora had recorded his statement under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate and was granted pardon by a special court for helping in the investigation.

The CBI, after registering a case against 15 people in August, had carried out searches at several places.

It has been alleged the Delhi government with its policy to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.

"It was further alleged that irregularities were committed including in modifications in Excise Policy, extending undue favours to the licensee, waiver/reduction in licence fee, extension of L-1 licence without approval etc.

"It was also alleged that illegal gains on count of these acts were diverted to concerned public servants by private parties by making false entries in their books of accounts," a CBI spokesperson had said.

Besides Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio in the Delhi government, the CBI had named the then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, the then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen, and two companies as accused in the FIR filed on August 17.

In its FIR, the agency has alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions pertaining to the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with "an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender."

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