Lawyer Gautam Khaitan, a co-accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was produced before the Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Saturday after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a fresh money laundering case under the Black Money Act.
During the hearing, the ED said, “He (Gautam Khaitan) is running less of a law firm and more of a money laundering business. We need to ask questions. This custody is necessary.”
The Patiala House Court has reserved the order on ED remand of Gautam Khaitan for 5 pm.
Khaitan was placed under arrest on Friday night by the ED officials under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
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).
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.
Khaitan has been alleged to have been operating and holding a number of foreign accounts illegally and thereby possessing black money and stash assets, they said.
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.
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.