The Enforcement Directorate has accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of using some of the Rs 100 crore kickbacks they allegedly received from the ‘south group’ liquor lobby to pay for their campaign in the Goa Assembly poll in 2022. This accusation was made in the agency’s charge sheet filed in the Delhi Excise Policy-linked money laundering case. The ED has named a media publicity company, Chariot Productions Media Pvt. Ltd., and its owner-promoter Rajesh Joshi as accused in the prosecution complaint. The Delhi court has taken cognisance of this charge sheet.
The ED alleges that several people, including Rajesh Joshi and Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd, are involved in processes connected with a part of the proceeds of crime, the Rs 100 crore kickbacks received from the South Group. It is claimed that Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd made payments through banking channels and cash through hawala networks. The ED says that the actual beneficiary of these payments is AAP as they were used to pay for the Goa Elections in 2022.
The ED launched a money laundering investigation in this case last year under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It found that a part of proceeds of crime of Rs 30 crore were transferred through hawala network to make payments to vendors for advertisement in Goa election campaign of AAP. The payment was made both through the banking channel and cash. In a charge sheet filed last month before a local court, “a part of money trail of proceeds of crime of Rs 80 lakh (approx) is traced back to advertisement vendors and survey for AAP during Goa elections.”
The agency again mentioned the name of AAP leader and MP Raghav Chadha as part of a statement recorded of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s secretary C Arvind. Chadha has not been named as an accused in the charge sheet. Chadha denies the allegations and says that news reports in this context are factually wrong, incorrect, and appear to be part of a malicious propaganda to harm his reputation and credibility.