At least 25 locationsin the national capital region have been raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday in connection with an ongoing probe into alleged money laundering in the now discontinued Delhi Excise Policy, officials said.Further details in the matter are awaited.
In August, the CBI registered a case to probe an alleged scam in the framing and implementation of the excise policy and issued a Look-Out Circular (LOC) against eight people.
Nine individuals have been identified as defendants in the case overall. A LOC has been issued against everyone of them, with the exception of Manoj Rai, a former vice president of Pernod Ricard.
Days after arresting Sameer Mahendru, managing director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor, the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at over thirty locations in Delhi and Punjab in connection with the case on October 7.
The ED and CBI have claimed that irregularities were committed when changing the excise policy, including giving licence holders undue favours, waiving or reducing the licence fee, and extending the L-1 licence without getting permission from the appropriate authorities. Additionally, it was claimed that in order to avoid detection, the recipients fabricated fictitious entries in their books and funnelled “illegal” income to the authorities under suspicion.
As claimed, the Excise Department made the unapproved decision to refund the victorious tenderer’s approximately Rs 30 crore earnest money deposit. Despite the lack of an enabling provision, COVID-19 permitted a waiver of the tendering licence payments from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022.
The FIR, which was initiated on a referral from the Union Home Ministry on a recommendation by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, said that this resulted in a loss to the exchequer of Rs 144.36 crore.
In order to investigate the suspected anomalies in the execution of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021–2022, Saxena suggested the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).