The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AugustaWestland case, for money laundering. India Today has learnt that Khaitan was allegedly involved in laundering money using multiple bank accounts and routing money through countries like Dubai, UK, Zambia, Tunisia, Kenya, Mauritius, Singapore, Switzerland and other countries. Khaitan has been arrested under Black Money Act by the agency.
Khaitan's arrest has come at a time when the middleman in AgustaWestland case, Christian Michel, is in Indian prison.
According to sources, the Income Tax department had carried out raids at multiple locations across India on January 19. Gautam Khaitan was reportedly in Zambia around that time. The ED has taken cognisance of the case registered by IT and a fresh ECIR (FIR) has been registered by the agency.
Top sources also told India Today that Gautam Khaitan has close association with the Banda family of Zambia. Rupiah Banda was the 4th president of Zambia. According to sources, Gautam Khaitan helped Banda's son Henry set up trust and companies in Seychelles to buy a property in Kenya.
However, it is still not clear if the black money case has any connection with the AgustaWestland case.
ED has filed chargesheet against Khaitan in AgustaWestland case. According to agency, Khaitan had knowledge about how the money was routed and laundered using front companies.