Look Out Circular against eight accused in liquor scam

Well-placed sources said CBI sleuths have parked themselves around the official residence of Sisodia, who is scheduled to fly to Gujarat on Monday.

Published: 22nd August 2022 08:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2022 08:56 AM   |  A+A-

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia addresses a press conference in New Delhi, on August 6, 2022.

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The CBI on Sunday issued Look Out Circulars (LOC) against eight private individuals named in its first information report on the Delhi liquor policy scam, including Vinay Nair and Dinesh Arora, who are currently abroad.

The agency is likely to issue LOCs against the remaining seven accused later, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Well-placed sources said CBI sleuths have parked themselves around the official residence of Sisodia, who is scheduled to fly to Gujarat on Monday.

Nair, former CEO of Only Much Louder, an event management company that managed several comedy shows like All India Bakchod, has conveyed to the CBI that he is in the US for some personal work and would join the probe once he is back. He is also a member of the AAP. Airports have been put on alert about his and Arora’s arrival.

Arora and Arjun Pandey, who was formerly associated with a news channel, are alleged close associates of Sisodia, who were allegedly actively involved in managing and diverting kickbacks from liquor licensees for the accused bureaucrats. It is alleged that Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora received `1 crore from Sameer Mahendru of Indo-Spirits.

Besides, Arun Ramchandra Pillai, said to be part of the liquor mafia, allegedly used to collect slush money from Mahendru for onward transmission to the accused public servants through Vijay Nair. Arjun Pandey has once collected about `2-4 crore from Sameer on behalf of Nair.

The CBI has also summoned Amit Arora, the alleged linkman in the nexus, for its second round of questioning on Wednesday. On Saturday, he was questioned for two-and-a-half hours but he “remained largely quiet”, sources said.

Arora is a director in 15 companies based in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. He is a co-founder of a famous Mexican restaurant, Dos Burros, located at DLF Cyber City in Gurgaon. It was Amit Arora and Ankur Mahajan who opened Dos Burros in 2015.

Sources said Amit Arora, is director in Omlogic Digital Media Pvt Ltd, Aralias Retail Pvt Ltd, VD Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Samannat Retail Pvt Ltd, Buddy (T-1d) Retail Pvt Ltd, Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd, Buddy Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Magnolias Retail Pvt Ltd, Eastman Builders Pvt Ltd, Aralias Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Buddy’s People Resources Pvt Ltd, KSJM Spirits, Blue Smoke Beverages and SAS Alcobev.

Arora’s partner Ankur Mahajan is based in Jammu. He is director in 10 companies across Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Most of Mahajan companies are related to automobiles. However, he is associated with Arora in liquor and hospitality business. Arora did not respond to this newspaper’s queries about his links with netas, babus and liquor barons and the money invested in various firms.

Enough prima facie proof

Officials probing the case say there is enough prima facie evidence of violation of regulations. They include financial wrongdoings and non-disclosure of material information under the Companies Act besides spreading misinformation under the IT and other Acts

Financial dealings of the accused in shares, cryptocurrencies and online gaming platforms are under the CBI lens

The foreign visits and international remittances for at least 50 individuals, including comic artists, businessmen, social media influencers and those linked to the entertainment industry, are also being probed

Those under the scanner include various individuals and companies having roots in Hyderabad, which managed to get license for sale of liquor in Delhi

Companies associated with Vijay Nair include Babblefish and Motherswear. Other companies under probe for being associated with Nair, including through his co-directors, are Weirdass Comedy, Motormouth Writers and Rebellion Management

Ministry of Corporate Affairs is looking into a maze of corporate entities associated with those named by the CBI

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