AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case: ED arrests lawyer Gautam Khaitan in fresh case of money laundering

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested lawyer Gautam Khaitan, accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, in connection with a fresh case of possession of black money and money laundering, officials said Saturday.

Businessman Gautam Khaitan was earlier arrested in connection with the VVIP chopper scam. IBNLive

Businessman Gautam Khaitan was earlier arrested in connection with the VVIP chopper scam. IBNLive

They said Khaitan was placed under arrest Friday night by the agency sleuths under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He will be produced before a court in Delhi on Saturday, they said.

Sources said a fresh criminal 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.

Khaitan has been accused of routing money through countries like Dubai, UK, Zambia, Tunisia, Kenya, Mauritius, Singapore, Switzerland and others, CNN News18 reported. The news channel further reported that Khaitan's arrest is linked to his recent trip to Zambia to visit the Banda family, which is also under investigation for money laundering.

Rupiah Banda was the fourth president of Zambia. Of his three sons Henry Banda, Nenani Banda and Dingani Banda, Dingani has reportedly received 250,000 euros from IDS Tunisia, the company that laundered money in the AgustaWestland scam. Khaitan has helped set up trusts and companies for Henry Banda in Seychelles to buy a property in Kenya, the CNN News18 report said.

It is understood that the investigative agencies have got fresh leads against Khaitan after the questioning of Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland, who was extradited by India from Dubai in December 2018.

The Income Tax Department had last week 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 in 2014 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 is currently out on bail, they said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 26, 2019 15:14:36 IST

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