Delhi excise policy: ED arrests Punjab businessman on money laundering charges
Malhotra, linked to the Oasis group of Punjab, has been taken into custody under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Published: 08th February 2023 12:08 PM | Last Updated: 08th February 2023 12:42 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested Punjab-based businessman Gautam Malhotra in the money laundering investigation linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy, in which huge amounts of kickback money that originated out of the ‘tweaked’ policy that favoured ‘liquor lobbies’ and was allegedly laundered and distributed amongst middlemen, government and politicians.
Malhotra is also the son of a former SAD MLA Deepak Malhotra.
Gautam, also a close aide of F&B business entrepreneurs and accuse in the excise case Dinesh Arora, was arrested last night. Gautam is associated with Oasis Group.
According to ED, he had allegedly played a key role in cartelisation. Gautam is accused of moving illicit money and proceeds of crime.
ED sources said there is enough evidence found against Gautam Malhotra on the allegation of a close business relationship with another accused Dinesh Arora in the same case There is also an allegation of money transaction with many leaders of a political party, ED sources said.
The ED recently filed the second chargesheet in the case making disclosures for the first time against Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s involvement in the Delhi Excise Case. Before a Special Court ED said that the CM during one of the video calls with the accused number one, Sameer Mahendru, said; at the time of the policy formulations, that Vijay Nair was his (Kejriwal’s) boy and that Sameer should trust him and carry on with him.
In the second chargesheet filed in January, the ED has named 12 accused including five persons– Sharath C Reddy, Binoy Babu, Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and Amit Arora who are already in Judicial custody. Seven private entities, primarily in the liquor trade have also been mentioned as accused in the chargesheet - Trident Chemphar Ltd, Sri Avantika Contractors (I) Pvt. Ltd., Organomix Ecosystems Pvt. Ltd., Pernod Ricard India Pvt. Ltd., KSJM Spirits LLP, Buddy Retail (TI) Pvt. Ltd. And Popular Spirits Pvt. Ltd.
In the first Chargesheet filed in November last year, Sameer Mahandru and four other entities allegedly belonging to him, Khao Gali Restaurants, Bubbly Beverages, Indo Spirits and Indospirit Distribution Ltd., were named.