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CBI arrests ED official for accepting bribe of Rs 5 cr to help accused in Delhi liquor scam case

New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday arrested an Assistant Director of the Enforcement Directorate and six other officials for accepting bribes to favour one of the accused in the Delhi liquor scam case.

The accused named in the FIR have been identified as Pawan Khatri, Assistant Director, ED; Nitesh Kohar, Upper Division Clerk; Deepak Sangwan, Employee of Air India; Amandeep Singh Dhall; Birender Pal Singh; Praveen Kumar Vats, Chartered Accountant; Vikramaditya, CEO of Claridges Hotels and Resorts.
During the course of the investigation of the Delhi Liquor Scam case, it was learnt that a group of certain persons were involved in the activity of taking money in the name of Senior ED officials.

Birender Pal Singh is the father of Aman Dhall who is an accused in the Delhi liquor scam case and was arrested by ED and CBI.
"From the statements of various persons recorded under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, it was prima facie revealed that Aman Dhall (accused in the Delhi Liqour scam case and arrested by both ED and CBI) and Birender Pal Singh (father of Aman Dhall) had given Rs 5 crore (initially Rs 3 crore in the month of December 2022-January 2023 and then Rs 2 crore) to one Praveen Vats (Chartered Accountant) for arranging help in ED in respect of the ongoing investigation in liquor case against Aman Dhall," an official statement said. 

The accused Praveen Vats has stated in his statement that one Deepak Sangwan (who works as Assistant General Manager in Air India), had assured him that he could arrange help for Aman Dhall in ED's liquor scam case (by protecting him from getting arrested) in lieu of some amount of money. Deepak Sangwan introduced him to Pawan Khatri, Assistant Director in December 2022.

"On the basis of said assurance of Deepak Sangwan, accused Praveen Vats had taken Rs 3 crore from Aman Dhall in six tranches of Rs 50 lakhs each in the month of Decemeber 2022-January 2023. Thereafter, Deepak Sangwan proposed that Aman Dhall be taken out from the accused list in the case for an additional amount of Rs 2 crore," an official statement said.  

Praveen Vats had conveyed the same to Aman Dhall and since he agreed to the proposal. Praveen Vats had taken Rs 2 crore, more from him in four tranches of Rs 50 Lakhs each. All the payments from Aman Dhall as mentioned above were received by him at his home and the cash was always sent through a representative of Aman Dhall.

During the search operation, cash of Rs 2.19 crore has also been seized from the residence of Praveen Vats which corroborates the fact that money has exchanged hands.
Further, the recovery of 99 pages of Supplementary Prosecution Complaint dated January 6 in a liquor scam from the premises of Deepak Sangwan indicated that he was involved in taking bribes in the names of senior ED officials.
Further seizure of liquor scam-related documents from the residence of Pawan Khatri, Assistant Director also indicates his undue interest in the case.

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