Home / News / India /  Delhi excise policy case: ED arrests liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru

In connection with a money laundering investigation in Delhi Excise policy, the Enforcement Directorate arrested liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru on Wednesday. Mahendru is the managing director of a company called Indospirits. According to the PTI news agency, Mahendru was taken into custody under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he was put through a night-long questioning session. He is expected to be produced before a local court where the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will seek his further remand.

The ED action comes a day after the CBI arrested businessman Vijay Nair in this case. Nair, former CEO of event management company Only Much Louder was arrested on Tuesday.

In August this year, the CBI issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) against eight ‘private’ accused in the Delhi Excise Policy case. The news agency said Nair was arrested for his alleged role in "cartelisation" and "conspiracy" related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of liquor licence in the national capital.

A total of 9 ‘private’ persons had been named in the First Information Report filed by CBI in relation to the Delhi Excise policy case. The money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR in which Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and some Delhi government bureaucrats have been named as accused.

The CBI had conducted raids in the case on August 19, covering the Delhi residences of Sisodia, IAS officer and former Delhi excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, and 19 other locations across seven states and Union Territories.

Sisodia's three "close associates" -- Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt. Limited in Gurgaon, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey -- have also been named in the FIR as accused.

The ED is probing if alleged irregularities were done in the formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy. The liquor scheme came under the scanner after Delhi LG Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi's Excise Policy 2021-22. He had also suspended 11 excise officials in the matter.

It is alleged that undue financial favours were extended to liquor licensees after the tenders were awarded, causing loss to the exchequer.

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