A special Delhi court extended by six days the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of advocate Gautam Khaitan, who the agency accuses of money laundering. The agency said Khaitan’s further custodial interrogation is required to find out his nexus with the Banda family of Zambia.
“The investigation has revealed the nexus between the accused and the Banda family of Zambia and the money laundering through this channel is under investigation. There exists links between the accused with various arms dealers/deals, which is under investigation,” ED’s counsel D P Singh and N K Matta submitted before Special Judge (CBI) Arvind Kumar.
Singh further argued that Khaitan, who is also an accused in the AgustaWestland case, has also structured and incorporated the companies for Neenani Banda alias Junior Banda.
“These companies have been associated in routing money through housing project… into an African country and PUNJ LOYD through another defence deal. The trail of this black money has to be identified,” the ED argued.
Khaitan is to be confronted with Rajiv Saxena with regard to the financial transactions made to him by Saxena, which is in custody in other case with ED. Opposing the same, Khaitan’s counsel P K Dubey contended that the present case was merely “old wine in a new bottle”. He argued the agency had “no new document or material” against Khaitan, and his arrest was being used to interrogate him in the AgustaWestland case.
After hearing the arguments, special judge Kumar remanded Khaitan to another six days. Khaitan is accused of receiving kickbacks for the Rs 3,600 crore defense deal with Italian chopper manufacturer AgustaWestland for 12 AW-101 choppers during the Congress party led-UPA era in 2010.
Pursuant to a fresh Enforcement Case Investigation Report, Khaitan was arrested by ED on January 26 under the Black Money Act. On January 28, the court had remanded him to five days custody with the Enforcement Directorate, which expired Saturday.