ED detains man who ‘managed’ AAP’s 2022 Goa electoral finances

The AAP said the ED was conducting a "politically motivated" investigation and was unable to recover a single rupee or find proof in the case

The Enforcement Directorate ED has detained Chanpreet Singh, who reportedly “managed” cash funds for the Aam Aadmi Party‘s (AAP) campaign in the 2022 Goa Assembly elections, in connection with the Delhi liquor policy-related money laundering case, according to official sources on Monday.

The AAP said the ED was conducting a “politically motivated” investigation and was unable to recover a single rupee or find proof in the case.

Singh was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on April 12 and appeared before a special court here the following day, according to reports.

The court ordered that he be held in ED custody until April 18, according to reports. The investigating agency has made its 17th arrest in the investigation.The federal agency has previously detained Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his party colleague and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha, and a number of liquor traders, among others. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had already arrested Chanpreet Singh in connection with the same case. The money laundering case is based on the CBI FIR.

The ED has informed the court, via official papers, that he “managed” financial transfers for the AAP campaign during the 2022 Goa elections and had a “relationship” with the party.

The agency claims that the ‘South Group’, which included Kavitha, TDP candidate for the Ongole Lok Sabha seat Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, his son Raghav Magunta, businessman Sarath Chandra Reddy, and others, paid the AAP a bribe of Rs 100 crore in exchange for a prime position in the Delhi liquor market as part of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22.

The ED claims that the AAP utilized Rs 45 crore of the alleged payments to support its Goa election campaign.

The ED claims that cash payments were given to survey workers, area managers, assembly managers, and others in Goa who were involved in the AAP’s election campaign operations, and that these people informed the agency that this was “managed” by a person named Chanpreet Singh.

It further claimed that an employee of a ‘Angadia’ firm, which allegedly shifted cash money unlawfully, “admitted” to disbursing large sums of cash in Goa to various people, including Singh, who formerly worked for Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd.Chariot Productions was hired by the AAP for its Goa election campaign. The ED arrested the company’s director, Rajesh Joshi, in connection with the case last year.

The ED claimed that Singh took more than Rs 17 crore (Rs 17,38,14,500 in total) from the ‘Angadia’ company employee in 18 instances between August 2021 and January 2022, which was “also corroborated” by CDR (call data records of mobile phones) research. It stated that Singh “received a salary from the Aam Aadmi Party” in February 2022, as well as from a company called Wizspk Communications and PR Ltd, which was contracted by the Delhi government.

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Furthermore, the ED stated that he had received payments from the OML (Only Much Louder) events management company of arrested AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair, and that “these facts are prima facie reflective of his relationship with the Aam Aadmi Party”.

In a statement, the AAP said the entire country knows “the actual Delhi liquor scam” took place after the ED commenced its investigation and arrested scam leader Sarath Reddy, who then transferred Rs 55 crore of his criminal earnings to the BJP using electoral bonds.

“Despite two years of investigation and over 500 raids, no money or proof has been found from AAP leaders, according to the report.”The ED is running a politically motivated investigation and making its case solely based on statements of approvers, many of whom like Sarath Reddy have a direct connection with the BJP,” the party said in a statement.

In a related event, Kejriwal did not receive any interim relief on Monday from the Supreme Court, which had requested a response from the ED by April 24 on his petition contesting his arrest in the money laundering case.

The issue involves alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi government’s 2021-22 liquor policy, which was later abandoned.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena proposed a CBI investigation into alleged anomalies in the drafting and implementation of the liquor policy.

The ED subsequently filed a complaint under the PMLA.

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