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Delhi excise case: ED arrests man who 'managed' AAP funds for Goa polls

Singh was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on April 12 and was produced before a special court here the next day, the sources said.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 18:45 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 18:45 IST

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Chanpreet Singh, who allegedly 'managed' cash funds for AAP's campaign in 2022 Goa Assembly polls, in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case, official sources said Monday.

Singh was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on April 12 and was produced before a special court here the next day, the sources said.

He has been sent to the ED custody till April 18 by the court, they said.

Responding to the ED action, AAP said, "the entire country knows that the real Delhi liquor scam took place after ED started its investigation and arrested scam kingpin Sharath Reddy who later transferred Rs 55 crore of his proceeds of crime to BJP via electoral bonds."

"After two years of investigation and over 500 raids, not a single rupee or evidence has been recovered from AAP leaders. ED is running a politically motivated investigation and making its case solely based on statements of approvers, many of who have a direct connection with the BJP like Sharath Reddy," it said.

This is the 17th arrest in the case by the ED. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his party colleague and former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, BRS leader K Kavitha and a number of liquor businessmen and others have been arrested earlier by the federal agency.

Singh was earlier arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation too in the same case. The money laundering case stems from the CBI FIR.

The ED has informed the court through its official documents that Chanpreet Singh 'managed' cash payments for the campaign of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2022 Goa elections and had a 'relationship' with the political outfit that rules Delhi currently.

It has been alleged by the agency that the 'South Group'-- comprising Kavitha, TDP candidate from Ongole Lok Sabha seat Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, his son Raghav Magunta, businessman Sarath Chandra Reddy and others -- paid Rs 100 crore bribe to the AAP for obtaining a prime position in the Delhi liquor market as part of the now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

Out of these alleged kickbacks, the ED has claimed, Rs 45 crore was used by the AAP to fund its Goa election campaign.

The ED has claimed that cash payments were made to survey workers, area managers, assembly managers and others in Goa who were engaged in election campaign activities of the AAP and these people told the agency that this was 'managed' by a person named Chanpreet Singh.

It also said that an employee of an 'Angadia' firm, which allegedly moved cash funds illegally, had 'admitted' to disbursing huge amounts of cash in Goa to some people including Singh, who used to work for Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd.

Chariot Productions was the company engaged by the AAP for its Goa poll campaign. The company's director, Rajesh Joshi, was arrested in the case by the ED last year.

The ED had alleged that Singh collected more than Rs 17 crore (Rs 17,38,14,500 in total) in over 18 instances from the 'Angadia' company employee between August 2021-January 2022, and this was 'also corroborated' by CDR (call data records of mobile phone) analysis.

It said Singh 'received salary from the Aam Aadmi Party' in February 2022 and also received salary from a company called Wizspk Communications and PR Ltd, which was engaged by the Delhi government.

Moreover, the ED claimed that he had also received funds from OML (Only Much Louder) events management company of arrested AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair, and 'these facts are prima facie reflective of his relationship with the Aam Aadmi Party'.

In a related development, Kejriwal on Monday did not get any interim relief from the Supreme Court which sought a response from the ED by April 24 on his plea challenging his arrest in the money laundering case.

The excise 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.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the liquor policy. Subsequently, the ED registered a case under the PMLA.

With DHNS inputs.

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Published 15 April 2024, 18:45 IST

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