Delhi liquor scam: ED attaches assets worth ₹76.54 crore, including property owned by Hyderabad-based Arun Pillai

6 arrested by ED so far: Vijay Nair, Sameer Mahendru, Amit Arora, Sarath Reddy, Benoy Babu, and Abhishek Boinpally.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jan 25, 2023 | 4:38 PMUpdatedJan 25, 2023 | 4:38 PM


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, 25 January, provisionally attached a land parcel owned by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramachandra Pillai worth ₹2.25 crore in Vattinagulapally, in Hyderabad, in what has come to be known as Delhi liquor scam.

His land asset was attached along with the properties of others related to the scam. The total value of all assets is ₹76.54 crore.

The ED has so far arrested six accused in the case — Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair, businessman Sameer Mahendru, Amit Arora, an associate of Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Sarath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma, liquor company Pernod Ricard’s executive Benoy Babu, and Hyderabad businessman Abhishek Boinpally. All of them are in judicial custody.

Two prosecution complaints have been filed by the ED in the Special Court, PMLA, an official press release said on Wednesday.

The other assets attached in the latest action are — residential properties worth ₹35 crore in Jor Bagh, New Delhi, owned by Sameer Mahendru and Geetika Mahendru, a residential property worth ₹7.68 crore in Magnolias, Gurugram, owned by Amit Arora, and a residential premise of ₹1.77 crore in Crescent Bay, Parel, Mumbai, owned by Vijay Nair.

The ED also attached assets of ₹3.18 crore of three restaurants — Chica, La Roca, and Unplugged Courtyard — owned by businessman Dinesh Arora, and 50 vehicles worth ₹10.23 crore owned by Indospirit Group, apart from bank balance, fixed deposits, and financial instruments worth ₹14.39 crore in the case of Delhi liquor scam.

K Kavitha and ‘South Group’

After the ED named BRS MLC K Kavitha in its charge sheet, as one who was part of a “South Group” which sent ₹100 crore to Vijay Nair of AAP, the CBI officials visited her residence in Hyderabad on 11 December last year and recorded her statement. The CBI sleuths grilled her throughout the day, rousing suspicion whether they were trying to build a case against her.

The investigation by the ED, so far, has revealed that acts of corruption and conspiracy in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 led to the loss of at least ₹2,873 crore to the Delhi government exchequer.

To date, the ED has conducted searches at multiple locations across the country including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and other places.

After an analysis of seized records followed by the disclosures of various persons, the above diversion of Proceeds of Crime (POC) has been unearthed.

Sarath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma and Benoy Babu of Pernod Ricard were arrested under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in November last year. Sarath Reddy is related to YSRC Rajya Sabha member V Vijaya Sai Reddy.

Related: ED forced witnesses to sign pre-dictated statements: Sarath Reddy

The ED had arrested communications-in-charge AAP Vijay Nair, who owned an event management company Only Much Louder (OML) in Delhi in September last year. The ED arrested Indospirit managing director Sameer Mahandru also in the same month.

In November, the CBI filed a charge sheet in Rouse Avenue District Court in Delhi listing seven persons — Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinapally, Arun Ramachandra Pillai, Sameer Mahendru Gautam Mootha, Kuldip Singh and Narendra Singh — as accused in the case.