ED officials and private individuals to face money laundering charges in Delhi Liquor Policy Bribery Case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to pursue money laundering charges against two of its own officers and several private individuals. The case is linked to a bribery scandal involving an accused person who was arrested in connection with an alleged Delhi liquor policy scam. This development comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a First Information Report (FIR) on August 25, naming the individuals involved. The accused individuals are Pawan Khatri and Nitesh Kohar, both officials of the ED, as well as chartered accountant Praveen Kumar Vats, Air India assistant general manager Deepak Sangwan, Vikramaditya, the CEO of Claridges Hotels and Resorts, Amandeep Dhall, owner of liquor company Brindco Sales, and his father Birender Pal Singh.
The CBI’s decision to include these individuals in its FIR was based on a complaint sent by the ED on August 8.Amandeep Dhall, who was arrested by the ED on March 1 for his alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor policy scam, is accused of paying a bribe of Rs 5 crore to Vats in multiple tranches starting from December 2022. The bribe was reportedly intended to ensure that Dhall would be protected from arrest and would not be implicated in the Delhi excise policy case.Following a preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the two ED officials were engaged in illegal activities. Consequently, the matter was referred to the CBI for action under the Prevention of Corruption Act, with the approval of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
It is suspected that the accused individuals used the names of senior officials involved in the liquor policy case to extort bribes. To further address the situation, the ED may suspend the two officers while the CBI’s investigation progresses. Additionally, the ED may contact the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) regarding CA Vats and Air India concerning Sangwan, in order to take appropriate disciplinary action against them.In July, the ED conducted raids on the premises of all the accused individuals, except for Vikramaditya, and seized a substantial amount of cash, jewelry, and a luxury car. Bank deposits totaling Rs 2.26 crore were also frozen under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).During these raids, ED officials also recovered a supplementary charge sheet from Sangwan’s residence, filed by the agency on January 6 in relation to the Delhi liquor policy case.
The charge sheet, comprising 99 pages, suggests Sangwan’s involvement in accepting bribes under the names of senior ED officials. Additionally, a related note on the money laundering aspect of the liquor policy case was found at Khatri’s residence.Moving forward, the ED intends to pursue money laundering charges against the accused parties, following the filing of a PMLA case after taking cognizance of the latest CBI FIR.In conclusion, the ED is taking necessary actions to address the bribery scandal and ensure that justice is served in the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.