HYDERABAD: Going by the evidence unearthed by it so far, the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) strongly suspects an elaborately planned quid pro quo conspiracy in the Delhi Excise Policy scam. In its remand diary, the CBI reportedly said the statements of witnesses, confessional statements of the accused and perusal of bank records revealed that Abhishek Rao Boinpally, who was arrested on Sunday night, was an integral part of meetings held in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in connection with formulation of the Excise Policy. Digging deep into the money trail, CBI officials believe liquor traders and the accused colluded with public servants to leave loopholes in the Excise Policy which they could exploit later for wrongful gain.
The CBI alleged that Abhishek Rao, as part of the conspiracy, transferred money through hawala channels to co-accused Vijay Nair through co-accused Dinesh Arora from November 2021 to July 2022, prior to the implementation of the policy. The CBI is yet to get a satisfactory explanation with regard to the money transferred by co-accused Sameer Mahendru of M/S Indospirits. Vijay Nair is the former CEO of ‘Only Much Louder’, an entertainment and event management company, while Dinesh Arora is a director of M/s Buddy Retail Private Limited.
The CBI questioned Abhishek Rao on September 25, 28 and 29, and also on October 3 and 6 about his alleged role in the entire scam. During the interrogation, Abhishek Rao was confronted with the available evidence. However, he reportedly sought time to think and recollect the facts before replying to the questions.In the remand diary, the CBI said that even after being given ample time and opportunities, Abhishek Rao was non-cooperative and concealing the material facts related to the alleged conspiracy, role of the other accused, including that of public servants, as well as trail of the money transferred by him through hawala channels.
The remand diary says that Abhishek Rao gave evasive replies to the questions and was not divulging the true facts of the case, which are exclusively in his knowledge. It says that Abhishek Rao was arrested in view of his non-cooperation and concealment of facts. CBI also grilled Abhishek Rao about the money that was transferred to Vijay Nair who is considered close to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The CBI also questioned Abhishek Rao about the hawala links in the scam and his role in the scam. Abhishek Rao, and also the head of a media house who is on the ED radar, are partners in a company that was established in Delhi this year. The CBI quizzed Abhishek Rao about the reason to start a company in Delhi and cross-checked if he has any links with the tenders floated as part of the liquor policy.