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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Delhi Liquor Row: Liquor Baron Sameer Mahendru Arrested over Money Laundering 

Nair was “actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the GNCTD of Delhi’s excise policy for the year 2021-22”

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INDIA. Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru in connection with Delhi’s excise policy, which had been quite sparkling between AAP and BJP.

The alleged business is a managing director of Indo Spirits which deals with liquor distribution. The arrest was made days after the arrest of Vijay Nair, AAP’s communications chief and a close aide of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. 

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“Vijay Nair is in charge of AAP’s communications. He was responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies in Punjab earlier and now in Gujarat,” the party said in a statement. And the arrest was “part of the BJP’s ongoing attempt to crush AAP and hinder AAP’s campaign in Gujarat”.

Mahendru will be produced in front of the local court where the ED will take charge to interrogate further. According to floating reports, the central probe agency’s First Investigation report alleged that Arjun Pandey, a close associate of Delhi’s Deputy Chief minister, had collected about Rs 2-4 crore cash from Mahendru on behalf of Nair, who is the former CEO of Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company.

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The CBI FIR claims, “close aides” of Sisodia like Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt. Limited based in Gurgaon, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey have been “actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licenses.”

“Source further revealed that Arun Ramchandra Pillai used to collect undue pecuniary advantage from Sameer Mahendru of IndoSpirit for onward transmission to the accused public servants through Nair,” claimed the report copy.

Vijay Nair; Photo Credit: Twitter
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According to the report, Nair was “actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the GNCTD of Delhi’s excise policy for the year 2021-22.”

The Capital is actively searching for liquor case leads. According to the AAP party, the central ruling party is conspiring against the party, hence ,“The party has said that the BJP is targeting it to counter the challenge posed by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.”

The AAP says Nair was arrested after he refused to handcuff himself under pressure from the agency to implicate Manish Sisodia.

“He was summoned for questioning in the past few days and pressured to accept the name of Manish Sisodia. When he refused to do so, he was threatened with arrest. His house was raided twice in the last month but nothing was found.” said the party.

BJP leaders allege massive corruption in the now-withdrawn liquor policy, which allowed retailers to offer heavy discounts to attract buyers. The BJP said the policy was a fraud on the people of Delhi.

A CBI inquiry was recommended by Delhi Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, who alleged that the policy was introduced “with the sole objective” of benefiting private liquor barons by causing huge losses to the exchequer.

Also Read: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s Residence under CBI Radar for Liquor License Case

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