Nationwide ED crackdown in Delhi liquor scam; Raids in Telangana, AP

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been conducting raids at over 40 locations in connection with the Delhi liquor scam

Enforcement Directorate

HYDERABAD: In a fresh nationwide crackdown, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been conducting raids at over 40 locations in connection with the Delhi liquor scam on Friday. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is the main accused in the case.

Sources claim that simultaneous search operations were being conducted at premises linked to prominent liquor traders, distributors and supply chain networks in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh besides the National Capital Region (NCR). In Hyderabad, ED officials are carrying out simultaneous searches at the premises of Abhishek, Prem Sagar Rao, Arun Ramachandra Pillai and auditor Gorantla Buchibabu. A four-member ED team was reportedly conducting the searches at Buchibabu's apartment flat in Sri Sai Krishna Residency in Domalguda of Hyderabad since Friday morning.

In Andhra Pradesh, raids were going on in Nellore district at the premises of liquor traders and distributors.

This is the second wave of ED raids in connection with the liquor scam case in a span of nine days. Earlier on September 6, close to 45 locations were raided across the country. The ED was reported to be conducting the searches as part of its probe to go on the trail of the proceeds of the crime. As per the sources, the agency was in the process of ascertaining if the accused in the case had any role in generating these proceeds.

The ED also secured court permission to grill Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain, a key leader of AAP, in the Tihar jail to elicit further information in the case. The latest nationwide raids of the ED came a day after a video of a sting operation was released by the BJP. In the video, Delhi liquor scam accused Amit Arora purportedly gives out information on how money allegedly changed hands and the key personalities involved in preparing the excise policy. Amit Arora, in the video, alleged that Sosidia benefitted in the form of kickbacks and that AAP had spent the ill-gotten money for its election campaign in Goa and Punjab.

Country can't progress, laments Kejriwal

Reacting to the fresh round of ED's nationwide raids, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday alleged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were "unnecessarily troubling everyone" and said the country can't progress like this.

Addressing a press conference, the Delhi chief minister said that he did not understand why the Lieutenant Governor, the CBI and the BJP had quoted varying amounts of money which was said to be involved in the alleged liquor scam.

Kejriwal reacted in the wake of fresh raids at about 40 locations across the country as part of a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which was subsequently scrapped.

"One of their (BJP) leaders says that it is a scam of Rs 8,000 crore, the LG says it is a scam of Rs 144 crore and the CBI FIR says there is a scam of Rs 1 crore. I don't understand what the liquor scam is," Kejriwal said.

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