The Enforcement Directorate today launched new raids at 35 locations in Delhi, Punjab and Hyderabad, deepening its money-laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in Delhi’s now-abandoned liquor policy.
Searches are underway for establishments associated with liquor companies, distributors and supply chain networks in these states.
The operation began early in the morning when the agency team was seen leaving the Delhi headquarters for the raid site.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacked the centre, describing the attack as “dirty politics”.
“Over 500 raids since 3 months, over 300 CBI/ED officers working 24/7 – one to find evidence against Manish Sisodia. Can’t find anything. Because nothing has been done,” Mr Kejriwal said in Indy Yu tweeted.
500 एक-एक-एक-सेसेज़सेसेमहीनोंसेकेकेकेकेकेकेसेसेसेसेघंटेलगे कुछ नहीं मिल रहा क्योंकि कुछ किया ही ही ही
कैसे कैसे देश तरक़्क़ी करेगा करेगा? https://t.co/VN3AMc6TUd
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 7, 2022
“So many officers’ time is wasted by their dirty politics. How will such a country develop?” he added.
The money laundering case under the policy has become the latest flashpoint between the ruling AAP and the BJP, stemming from a CBI FIR in which Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and some Delhi government officials have been charged as defendants. The CBI is investigating whether the policy helps alcohol cartels.
The BJP claims there is huge corruption in the policy that allows retailers to offer deep discounts to lure buyers. However, the AAP said its policies were aimed at curbing corruption and accused the BJP of abusing the central agency to achieve political goals.
Alcohol businessman Samir Mahendru was arrested last week by the investigative agency, which has carried out rounds of raids on the case. His arrest comes a day after AAP communications director Vijay Nair, a close aide to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, was arrested by the CBI.
The Delhi excise tax policy, which was introduced on November 17 last year, was scrapped by the Arvind Kejriwal government in July this year after Delhi Deputy Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena suggested a CBI investigation. Mr Saxena claimed the policy was implemented “for the sole purpose” of benefiting private liquor tycoons by causing huge financial losses.
The lieutenant governor also suspended 11 excise tax officials involved in the case.