The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested lawyer Gautam Khaitan, a co-accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, in a fresh money laundering case under the Black Money Act, agency officials said on Saturday.
Khaitan was arrested on Friday evening and would be produced before Delhi’s Patiala House Court later in the day.
The arrest comes a week after the Income Tax Department raided Khaitan’s offices and various other properties in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
It is learned that the Department has gathered evidence against the lawyer for allegedly receiving kickbacks in other defence deals, besides AgustaWestland, during the UPA tenure.
The ED said that the lawyer had been “controlling” the modus operandi and was responsible for routing the money, misusing his connections and clients, including the ones inherited from his father, to launder the money with the use of a variety of accounts in Dubai, Mauritius, Singapore, Tunisia, Switzerland, the UK and India.
Agency officials said the accounts included those of his undisclosed shell companies outside of India.
The ED as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named Khaitan in their separate chargesheets in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.
Khaitan was arrested in September 2014 for his alleged involvement in the AgustaWestland deal.
He got bail in January 2015 and was again arrested along with Sanjeev Tyagi, another accused in the case, on December 9, 2016, by the CBI. He later secured bail.
British national Christian James Michel, the middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was extradited to India on December 4 from the United Arab Emirates and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) got his custody till December 19.
Michel was earlier lodged in the Tihar Jail in a related CBI case after the expiry of his custody with the CBI. He was questioned by the CBI till 19 December.
Michel is one of the three middlemen being investigated by the CBI and the ED in the VVIP chopper deal.
(With agency inputs)