Published On: Thu, Feb 2nd, 2023

AAP used alleged liquor scam money in Goa Assembly poll campaign: ED chargesheet

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its chargesheet stated that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigation done so far has revealed that, the Delhi Excise Policy, 2021-22 was created by the top leaders of the AAP to continuously generate and channel illegal funds for themselves.

These kickbacks were paid in advance to the AAP leaders through Vijay Nair by the South Group

ED further states that the extent of involvement and abatement of the criminal activities by the leaders of the AAP covered in the subject, Prosecution Complaint further substantiates their design and scheme of the scam. The policy promoted cartel formations through back door awarding an exorbitant wholesale profit margin of 12 percent and a huge retail profit margin of 185 percent and incentivized other illegal activities on account of criminal conspiracy by the top leaders of AAP to extract kickbacks from the businesses, stated the ED.

ED revealed that it is disclosed by C Arvind, DANICS, Secretary to Manish Sisodia, in his statement dated December 7, 2022, the draft GoM report was given to him in the mid of March 2021 when C Arvind was called by Manish Sisodia to the residence of Arvind Kejriwal, CM (where Satyender Jain was also present). The conspiracy of the GoM to give wholesale business to private entities and fix a 12 percent margin (to get a 6 percent kickback out from the same) is clear from the statement of C. Arvind wherein he disclosed that there was neither any discussion in the GoM meetings about giving wholesale to private entities nor fixing a 12 percent profit margin for them. He further stated that it was the first time that he saw these proposals in the draft GoM report and he was directed to prepare the report on the basis of the said document, stated ED.

ED also revealed that AAP`s Vijay Nair, who orchestrated this entire scam is not an ordinary worker of the AAP but a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal, the CM of Delhi, and was closely interacting with the Deputy CM for the Excise policy-related matters. Vijay Nair had arranged a meeting of the owner/controller of IndoSpirits Sameer Mahandru, with Arvind Kejriwal, CM, Delhi and when that didn`t materialize, he arranged a video call through facetime on his phone for Sameer and Arvind Kejriwal, where Arvind said to Sameer that, Vijay is his boy and that Sameer should trust him and carry on with him.

These facts are relevant to mention so as to establish the abatement of his actions in relation to the Excise Policy scam, by the political leaders of the AAP, ED said.Vijay Nair, who is incharge of Media and Communication for the AAP, had no role in the Delhi Govt, in fact acted as a broker/liaison/middleman on behalf of the top leaders of the AAP for getting bribes/kickbacks from various stakeholders in the Delhi Liquor business in exchange of favourable outcomes (policy changes) in the Excise Policy of 2021-22, which was being drafted at that time. He even threatened the stakeholders who were not agreeing to his demands that the changes suitable/desired by them may not go through entirely if they do not concede to his demands, stated ED.

Vijay Nair, in connivance with Dinesh Arora and through him with Amit Arora, has also arm-twisted a wholesaler to surrender the L1 license and then coerced the manufacturers surrendered through that license to choose the wholesalers of his choice and favour to direct the profit margins to his co-conspirators so that there was complete control on the kickbacks to be extracted.

Vijay Nair, on behalf of leaders of AAP, has received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from a group, for convenience, we may call it the South Group (as termed in the statements of various persons recorded during the investigation, among which the prominent persons are Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta, Sarath Reddy and K Kavitha.

The South Group was represented by Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Pillai, and Buchi Babu. Abhishek Boinpalli facilitated the transfer of Rs. 100 Cr kickback in connivance and conspiracy with Vijay Nair and his associate Dinesh Arora. Investigation of the trail of this kickback so far has revealed that part of these funds was used in the election campaign of the AAP for the Goa Assembly elections in 2022. Cash payments to the tune of R. 70 lakhs were made to the volunteers who were part of the survey teams. Vijay Nair himself has told certain persons involved in the campaign-related work to receive the payments in cash.

Advertisement/hoarding-related work was directed to raise only part of the claims in the bill and receive the remaining in cash. These part cash payments were managed through Hawala Channels. Teams led by Sh Vijay Nair have directed certain firms to even issue bogus invoices.

These kickbacks were paid in advance to the AAP leaders through Vijay Nair by the South Group as a part of an agreement between the South Group, ED stated in the charge sheet.The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday also took Cognizance of the ED Chargesheet. The court is also presently examining the bail petitions of Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally, P Sarath Reddy, Binoy Babu, Sameer Mahandru etc.

Reacting to the ED chargesheet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal dismissed charges levelled by Enforcement Directorate (ED) against him. He called the charge sheet filed by the probe agency “complete fiction’. Kejriwal alleged that the Centre is using the probe agency to topple state governments.

Raising questions on ED’s probe, the Delhi CM said that the ED filed around 5,000 cases during the Modi government and how many people were sentenced. He stated, “All chargesheets by the Enforcement Directorate are fake. ED is only an agency used by the Centre to topple governments.” The ED does not file cases to end corruption but helps BJP in buying MLAs’, Kejriwal added.

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