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, agency officials said on Saturday.
KKhaitan was placed under arrest Friday night by the agency sleuths under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). and would be produced before a special court later in the day.
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 under Section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
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.
(With inputs from agencies)