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ED busts alleged liquor scam worth Rs 2,000 cr in Chhattisgarh
Image Credit: Pixabay

ED busts alleged liquor scam worth Rs 2,000 cr in Chhattisgarh

| @indiablooms | 07 May 2023, 10:29 pm

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday said it has uncovered a liquor scam worth Rs 2,000 crore in Chhattisgarh allegedly involving prominent politicians and bureaucrats, media reports said.

As part of the investigation, the ED has arrested Anwar Dhebar, the main accused in the case, who is the brother of Aijaz Dhebar, a Congress leader and the mayor of Raipur, India Today reported.

Anwar Dhebar has been remanded to ED custody for four days.

In March, the investigating agency carried out searches at several locations and obtained statements from individuals connected to the purported scam.

According to the agency, it has gathered evidence pointing to an extensive case of corruption and money laundering amounting to Rs 2,000 crore between 2019 and 2022, which they describe as an unprecedented level of corruption.

“PMLA investigation revealed that an organised criminal syndicate led by Anwar Dhebar was operating in Chhattisgarh. Anwar Dhebar, though a private citizen, was backed and worked for illegal gratification of the high-level political executives and senior bureaucrats,” the ED said.

In Chhattisgarh, all 800 liquor shops are run by the state government and private shops are not allowed.

The state government maintains complete control over all aspects of the liquor trade, including procurement, retail sale, and consumer transactions.

Officials state that Anwar orchestrated a complex conspiracy and established a broad network involving individuals and entities to carry out the scam, ensuring that illicit funds were collected from every sale of liquor in Chhattisgarh.

“With the support of political executives, Anwar Dhebar managed to get a pliant Commissioner and MD of CSMCL, and hired close associates like Vikas Agarwal and Arvind Singh to make the system completely subservient to him. He controlled the entire chain of the liquor trade starting from -- private distillers, FL-10A license holders, senior officers of the excise department, district-level excise officers, manpower suppliers, glass bottle makers, hologram makers, cash collection vendors etc. and leveraged it to extort the maximum amount of bribes and commission. Various other stakeholders were also illegally benefitted in the process,” the ED added.

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