Ex-IAS Officer Anil Tuteja Accused of Masterminding Chhattisgarh Liquor Scam: ED

08:08 PM Apr 25, 2024 | PTI |

Retired IAS officer Anil Tuteja is the ”kingpin” of the liquor syndicate that was operating in Chhattisgarh leading to generation of proceeds of crime worth more than Rs 2,100 crore, the Enforcement Directorate alleged on Thursday.


Tuteja, a 2003-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was arrested by the federal anti-money laundering agency in the state capital Raipur last week and is currently in the ED custody.

Probe found that Tuteja is the ”kingpin” of the liquor syndicate operating in Chhattisgarh, the agency claimed in a statement.

”Evidence documenting his direct involvement in managing the state administration for unhindered operations of the syndicate have been gathered and he was also found to be actively engaged with Anwar Dhebar, another co-accused in this matter,” it said.

Anwar Dhebar is the elder brother of Raipur Mayor and Congress leader Aijaz Dhebar.


The agency claimed it has gathered evidence that while Tuteja ”was not officially a part of the Excise Department, yet he was actively involved with operations of this department.” Digital evidence relating to receipt of Rs 14.41 crore by Tuteja has also been discovered during investigation, it said.

The agency added that his role in the appointment of Arunpati Tripathi, a co-accused in the case, as the managing director of Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited has also allegedly been found.

The ”complicit” actions of Tuteja resulted in ”massive loss” to the state exchequer and filled the pockets of the beneficiaries of the liquor syndicate with more than Rs 2,100 crore illegal proceeds of crime, the ED claimed, adding that Tuteja also received a ”substantial share in this loot”. The IAS officer retired from service last year. His last designation was that of joint secretary in the Industry and Commerce Department of Chhattisgarh.

The ED had filed a fresh money laundering case in the alleged liquor scam case after the Supreme Court recently quashed its earlier FIR that was based on an Income Tax Department complaint. The apex court ruled there was no scheduled offence, and hence the money laundering case does not stand.

The agency, just before this ruling, had shared details of its probe in the case with the Chhattisgarh EOW/ACB seeking registration of a criminal case and once they filed a FIR, the ED registered a new money laundering case taking cognisance of that complaint.

The EOW/ACB registered this FIR on January 17, about a month after the BJP defeated the incumbent Congress government in the assembly polls, and named 70 individuals and companies, including former excise minister Kawasi Lakhma, former chief secretary Vivek Dhand and others.

As per the ED’s estimate, the ”proceeds of crime” in the case stands at Rs 2,161 crore.

Money was ”illegally” collected from ”every” bottle of liquor sold in Chhattisgarh and evidence of ”unprecedented” corruption and money laundering of Rs 2,000 crore generated by an alcohol syndicate led by Anwar Dhebar has been unearthed, the ED had alleged.

The alleged liquor scam, which ran between 2019 and 2022, was perpetrated in three broad ways, as per the ED.

First was ”commission” where bribe was collected from the distillers per bottle of liquor procured from them by the CSMCL (the state body for purchase and sale of liquor).

The second was ‘kacha’ (off the books) sale of country liquor where ”not even a single rupee reached the state exchequer and all the sale proceeds were pocketed by the syndicate.” This country liquor was sold from the state-run shops only, the ED alleged.

The third part was ”bribes” taken from distillers to allow them to make a ”cartel” and have fixed market share apart from commission from FL-10A License holders who were introduced to earn in the foreign liquor segment, the ED said.


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