Delhi Excise ‘scam’: CBI Arrests News Channel Executive

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A CBI official said that Arvind Kumar Singh was arrested for the alleged transfer of Rs 17 crore through hawala channels to a firm, which was handling the Aam Aadmi Party’s publicity campaign during the Goa elections.

THE CBI has arrested the commercial head and production controller of India Ahead News in connection with a probe into the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

“Arvind Kumar Singh, the news channel’s commercial head and production controller, was arrested on Friday for the alleged transfer of Rs 17 crore through hawala channels to a firm, which was handling the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) publicity campaign during the Goa elections,” a CBI official said.

“During the probe, the CBI found WhatsApp chats and records of hawala operators, which showed that Singh was instrumental in hawala transfers of Rs 17 crore between June 2021 and January 2022 to Chariot Media, which was handling AAP’s outdoor advertisement campaign during the Goa elections,” the official alleged.

The Goa Assembly polls were held on February 14, 2022.

The owner of Chariot Media, Rajesh Joshi, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 8. A special court in Delhi granted him bail on May 6. The court had said that evidence produced by the ED shows that Chariot Media made some payments to vendors for election work of the AAP but there was nothing to suggest, at this stage, to link these payments to the alleged kickbacks paid by the South lobby to co-accused Vijay Nair or his associates.

On August 17 last year, the CBI filed an FIR in the case, and two days later, raided 21 locations in Delhi, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s house. The first high-profile arrest in the case was of Vijay Nair, AAP’s communication in-charge, on September 28.

Sisodia is among 15 booked in the CBI FIR – the others being three excise department officials and several vendors and distributors. The FIR states: “Manish Sisodia, Arava Gopi Krishna, then Commissioner (Excise); Anand Tiwari, then Deputy Commissioner (Excise); and Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise) were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensee post tender.”

The CBI has alleged that kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crore were paid in advance to some politicians of the AAP in Delhi and other public servants by some people in liquor business from South India through co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and Dinesh Arora.

Source: Indian Express