Delhi court extends ED custody of Gautam Khaitan by 6 days in fresh money laundering case

PTI
Saturday, 2 February 2019

"The accused is in possession of the proceeds of of crime generated as a result of the wilful attempt to evade tax. The accused has intentionally and deliberately been involved in projecting the proceeds of crime as untainted."

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday extended by six days the ED custody of lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, in connection with a fresh case of alleged possession of black money and money laundering.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar again remanded Khaitan in the custody of Enforcement Directorate, which had arrested him on January 25 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Khaitan is already being prosecuted in a case related to AgustaWestland in which he was granted bail.

The court on Saturday also directed the agency to take medical care of Khaitan after he complained that he was not able to sleep properly.

The agency said that there was "material evidence and reasons to believe" that the accused has committed the offence of money laundering punishable under Section 4 of PMLA.

"The accused is in possession of the proceeds of of crime generated as a result of the wilful attempt to evade tax. The accused has intentionally and deliberately been involved in projecting the proceeds of crime as untainted.

"The accused, with a dishonest and malafide intention, has attempted to conceal his income derived from lobbying and liasoning through his Indian entities and parked the said income into his foreign owned entities. There exists all likelihood and possibility of the said proceeds of crime in the foreign bank accounts and the offshore entities of the accused being disposed of," the agency said.

The ED said that Khaitan's custodial interrogation was required to identify all "tainted money" at the earliest.

The agency said the custody was required to identify the entire trail of the persons who have received proceeds of crime and routed through structured foreign companies of Khaitan.

It also said that he was required to confront him with the voluminous evidence collected during investigation and unearth the entire tainted money.

Khaitan had earlier told the court that ED was forcing him to falsely implicate someone influential in "any defence deal" which happened during the UPA regime.

The ED has maintained that the present case had nothing to do with the alleged AgustaWestland scam and that the accused was operating and holding a number of foreign accounts illegally and thereby possessing black money and stashing assets.

The present case under the PMLA was filed by the ED against Khaitan on the basis of a case filed by the Income Tax Department against him under Section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.

The ED has said that it had the knowledge of Khaitan's unidentified assets which value more than Rs 500 crore.

The Income Tax Department had earlier carried out searches against Khaitan in this new case filed under the anti-black money law.

Khaitan had been arrested by the ED and the CBI a few years ago in connection with their probe in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland case.

A charge sheet was also filed against him by the two agencies and he was out on bail when he was arrested by the ED in the fresh case.

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