Wednesday, June 7, 2023 8:20 am

Enforcement Directorate: Chhattisgarh Liquor Scam of ₹2,000 Crore

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The Enforcement Directorate alleges that a liquor scam worth more than 2,000 crore has been uncovered in Chhattisgarh at a time when news of a related case in Delhi is still making headlines. An IAS officer and a liquor tycoon are allegedly the “kingpins” of the suspected scheme, according to the central agency.

The Enforcement Directorate, often known as the ED, detained liquor businessman Anwar Dhebar on Saturday in connection with the case. Anwar is the brother of Congress leader and Raipur Mayor Aijaz Dhebar.

Anil Tuteja, an IAS officer serving as joint secretary in the state’s industry and commerce department, and Mr. Dhebar, according to the agency, were the “kingpins” of a syndicate that included senior state government officials, private individuals, and political leaders.

According to the report, between 30 and 40 percent of the total amount of alcohol sold in the state between 2019 and 2022 was unlawful. Government stores sold this 30 to 40% of the country spirits alongside the listed branded spirits, but the proceeds did not go to the government.

According to the ED, the “massive scam” in the liquor industry earned more than 2,000 crore in corruption money between 2019 and 22 that was utilised, among other things, for electioneering.

The Enforcement Directorate further asserts that it has proof of a 14.41 crore exchange between the IAS officer and the liquors tycoon.

Bhupesh Baghel, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh, has denied the accusations and called the ED’s assertion “false and baseless.” “The disgruntled BJP was trying to defame the Congress government using the ED as the state Assembly polls were approaching,” he alleged.

The state elections is due by year’s end.

“The state’s decision to sell alcohol through a company in 2017 was made by the Raman Singh-led BJP government. Since 2017, there has been no modification to the distilleries, officers, transporters, or placement organisations connected to the state’s alcohol industry. The amount of money collected from the sale of alcohol climbed from 3,900 crore in 2017–18 to 6,000 crore in 2022–23, which amply demonstrates that the ED’s assertion that revenue collection has decreased due to alleged corruption is untrue.

As the state’s Assembly election draws near, the BJP has been utilising the ED to create a plot to malign the state administration, he continued.

According to him, audits of the state’s excise department were undertaken by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), who gave it a clean chit .
In the meantime, the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government has come under attack from the BJP due to the alleged scandal.

“Bhupesh Baghel ji, who swore with holy Ganga water in his hand, and the Congress party told where the money of alcoholic beverages went, robbery was done in the government treasury,” In Chhattisgarh, the unpaid debt amounted to one lakh crore over a fifteen-year period. The public’s health has also been manipulated along with treasury raids. A private corporation was set up to sell fake alcohol in a government store. A scam worth 2000 crores exists, claims the BJP MP Santosh Pandey.

Anil Tuteja has been charged by the Income Tax Department in a Delhi court after the Enforcement Directorate last year launched a case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, or PMLA.

The accusations are viewed as an embarrassment for the Baghel government during an election year.


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