Arunpati Tripathi, the special secretary of the Chhattisgarh Excise Department, has been sent to three-day custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to the alleged ₹2,000 crore liquor syndicate scam in the state.
According to the reports by NDTV, Tripathi was arrested by the ED on Friday and produced before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, becoming the first government official to be arrested in the case.
According to the probe agency, the scam involved selective grant of licences to liquor manufacturers for commission, distribution of the collected money, and collection of commission from liquor shops. The agency stated that there was sufficient evidence against Tripathi in all three aspects of the case.
Tripathi, an Indian Telecom Service officer, is posted in the excise department on deputation and is also the Managing Director of the Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited, which controls retail sale of all kinds of alcoholic beverages in the state.
Co-accused Anwar Dhebar, Nitesh Purohit, and Trilok Singh Dhillon, also arrested earlier in the case, will be produced in court alongside Tripathi on May 15. The PMLA court remanded Tripathi in the ED's custody for three days.