Kejriwal took advantage of being CM to facilitate liquor 'scam' money laundering by AAP: ED

The 55-year-old former IRS officer and activist was arrested by the ED

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  22 March 2024 3:01 PM GMT
Kejriwal took advantage of being CM to facilitate liquor scam money laundering by AAP: ED

New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal "took advantage" of being the chief minister of Delhi to facilitate money laundering by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is a "major beneficiary" of the proceeds of crimes generated in the alleged liquor scam case, the ED claimed Friday.

"Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of NCT of Delhi is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi Excise scam in collusion with ministers of Delhi government, AAP leaders and other persons," the federal agency informed a special PMLA court while seeking his custody.

It claimed in its remand papers that "Arvind Kejriwal was involved in the conspiracy of formulation of the excise policy 2021-22 to favour certain persons and also involved in the demanding of kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange of favours granting in the said policy."

The 55-year-old former IRS officer and activist was arrested by the ED on Thursday under the anti-money laundering law from his official residence in the Civil Lines area of Delhi.

The ED charged that Kejriwal "was directly involved in the use of proceeds of crime generated in the Goa election campaign of the AAP (in 2022) to which he is the convenor and the ultimate decision maker".

It informed the court it has recorded the statements of various people engaged in the election campaign-related activities of the AAP during the Goa polls and it was found that "cash payments were made to them for work like survey workers, area managers, assembly managers etc".

"These persons and activities related to the election campaign were overall managed by Vijay Nair (former AAP communications chief arrested in this case) and Durgesh Pathak, AAP MLA." The agency claimed these charges were also corroborated by one of the candidates of AAP for Goa elections of 2022 who said he received funds for election expenses "in cash" from the AAP volunteers in Goa.

The ED, for the first time in the about two year old probe, said the AAP was the "major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the Delhi liquor scam".

It alleged that a part of these proceeds of crime, to the tune of about Rs 45 crore in cash, was utilised in the election campaign of AAP in Goa assembly polls.

"In this manner, AAP has committed the offence of money laundering through Sh Arvind Kejriwal and the offences thus are covered by section 70 of the PMLA," it said.

It said that as the national convenor and member of the national executive, Kejriwal was "ultimately responsible for the funds being used in the election expenses including their generation".

Kejriwal, it alleged, was "not only the brain behind the AAP but also controlled its major activities".

"Taking advantage of the fact that he was also the CM of Delhi, he used the said post to facilitate the offence of money laundering by the "company" ie AAP and therefore, irrespective of his role and liability for the direct commission of the said offence, he is also vicariously liable for the offence committed by the AAP, being the national convenor of the said party and because of his role and active involvement in the day-to-day affairs and the conduct for the business of AAP," the ED informed the court.

It said kickbacks were allegedly generated by the 'South Group' members, that includes arrested BRS leader K Kavitha and some others, and a part of these were "used" in the Goa election campaign of the AAP.

The agency said Kejriwal "wilfully disobeyed" nine summons issued to him to join this probe and when his statement was recorded under the PMLA on Thursday, he did not "reveal the truth nor gave correct facts." It said the agency wants his custody to unearth the remaining proceeds of crime generated in the case and that he needs to be interrogated with other accused and witnesses "involved in the kickbacks given by the South Group to the AAP and its leaders." The case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are in judicial custody in the case.

Kejriwal's name has been mentioned multiple times in the charge sheets filed by the ED. The agency has alleged that the accused were in touch with Kejriwal for formulating the excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them in return for which they paid kickbacks to the AAP.

Inputs from PTI

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