6 Feb 2024

ED searches Kejriwal's PS, persons linked to AAP, what Atishi said?

On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at the residences of Bibhav Kumar, the personal secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and people associated with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as part of a money laundering investigation, according to official sources.

Approximately 10 locations in the national capital were subject to raids, involving officials from the central agency. It remains unclear whether these searches are linked to an existing money laundering case or pertain to a new investigation.

The premises of Bibhav Kumar, former Delhi Jal Board member Shalabh Kumar, the office of AAP's Rajya Sabha MP and national treasurer N D Gupta, and others were targeted during the enforcement action.

Explosive expose

Coinciding with the ED operation, Delhi cabinet minister Atishi announced her intention to reveal information about the agency, describing it as an "explosive expose" scheduled for 10 am the following day. Atishi and her Cabinet colleague, Saurabh Bharadwaj, referred to the ED as the "Extortion Department" in their social media posts.

Addressing the media, Atishi claimed that AAP leaders had been subjected to harassment for the past two years. 

Atishi said, “For the last two years, our party leaders are being threatened in this manner. In the name of so-called liquor scam, sometimes someone's house is raided and sometimes someone else's house is raided."

"Sometimes someone gets a summons and sometimes someone is arrested, but in these two years the ED has not found anything. In any criminal case, three things are important - first, recovery of the money which has been laundered. When the ED files a case under PMLA, then the most important thing is that it will have to recover the money. Even after hundreds of raids in two years, ED has not been able to recover even a single rupee."

“The second thing is evidence – ED has not found any evidence. The court is also repeatedly asking them to present evidence.”

She highlighted the lack of concrete outcomes from the numerous ED raids. emphasizing the absence of recovered laundered money or compelling evidence in any criminal cases. Atishi underscored the court's repeated requests for evidence and criticized the ED for failing to produce any substantial findings despite extensive investigations over the two-year period.

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