Excise money laundering case in Delhi: ED conducts new raids on 35 sites in Delhi, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi: The ED launched new raids on Friday in connection with a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in Delhi’s excise tax policy, official sources said. The searches are being conducted at about 35 sites in Delhi, Punjab and some places in Hyderabad, they said. Some beverage distributors, businesses and affiliated entities are being searched, the sources said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted more than 103 raids in this case so far and also arrested Sameer Mahandru, a liquor merchant and director of the liquor production company Indospirit, in the case last month.

According to ED sources, the raids that began early Friday morning are underway in Delhi, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. During the interrogation of Sameer Mahendru, a suspect in the custody of the central authority, they found out that Punjab and Andhra Pradesh had connections in the case.

More teams in Hyderabad are conducting raids on locations of some of the manufacturers and businessmen directly or indirectly involved in the scam.

Mahendru was previously detained by the ED. It was the second arrest in the Excise Policy scam and the first arrest by the ED. This is the third time the central agency has raided the excise policy scam. So far, it has raided about 100 locations.

There are allegations that Arun Ramchandra Pillai, a resident of Kokapet in Hyderabad, took undue pecuniary advantage from Mahendru for onward transfer to the accused official Vijay Nair.

Now the investigative agency is collecting the documentary and digital evidence to trace the money trail in money laundering. The ED is trying to make a foolproof case by trying to expose the stratification of laundered money.

The money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR. The drink scheme came under scrutiny after the Delhi LG recommended a CBI investigation into alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s 2021-22 excise tax policy. He also had 11 excise officials suspended in the case.

(with desk entrances)

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