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AAP Named Accused in Alleged Delhi Liquor Scam

AAP Named Accused in Alleged Delhi Liquor Scam

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NEW DELHI, May 17: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed a prosecution complaint against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the party chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.

A week ago, the agency had submitted a prosecution complaint against the Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha and four other accused persons. Ms Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, was arrested by the agency in Hyderabad on March 15. The ED accused her of conspiring with the top AAP leaders, including Mr Kejriwal and the then Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, for favours in the formulation and implementation of the erstwhile excise policy (2021-22).

The agency had earlier claimed that in exchange for the favours, Ms Kavitha was involved in paying ₹100 crore to the AAP leaders and that, as per the arrangement, Ms Kavitha and her associates were to recover the “proceeds of crime paid in advance to AAP and to further generate profits/proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy.”

The ED’s money-laundering case is based on the First Information Report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation on August 17, 2022, against Mr Sisodia and 14 others. It was alleged that the policy had extended an extraordinarily high profit margin of 12% for wholesalers and almost 185% profit margin for retailers.

As alleged by the CBI, Ms Kavitha was part of a “South Group” which paid ₹100 crore in advance as “kickbacks” through the then AAP communication and media in-charge Vijay Nair. In lieu of the payment, the group partners were given 65% stakes in Indo Spirits Company for the recovery of payments in future. These stakes were controlled through “false representation, concealment of true ownership and proxies.” It was alleged that about ₹45 crore from the “kickbacks” was used by the party for the election campaign in Goa.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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