Delhi Excise Policy: ED Arrests Sameer Mahendru In Money Laundering Case

Among the accused public servants are Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the then Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
The ED arrested Sameer Mahendru in Delhi Excise Policy case | REPRESENTATIVE
The ED arrested Sameer Mahendru in Delhi Excise Policy case | REPRESENTATIVE

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested Sameer Mahendru, an accused in its money laundering probe in Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, from the national capital.

Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi's Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, was arrested during raids conducted by the ED officials this morning. The ED's move came a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested Vijay Nair, former chief executive officer of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case.

Among the accused public servants are Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the then Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.

Other accused are Manoj Rai, a former employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, director of Brindco Sales; director of Buddy Retail Amit Arora, and Dinesh Arora; authorised signatories of Mahadev Liquors Sunny Marwah, Arun Ramchandra Pillai and Arjun Pandey.

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The ED and the CBI have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, licence fee was waived or reduced and L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

An alleged, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fee was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022 due to COVID-19.

This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, said the FIR, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

(With inputs from ANI)

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