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ED arrests OP Khaitan managing partner, Gautam Khaitan, over board membership of a Choppergate company

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested the managing partner of OP Khaitan & Co, Gautam Khaitan, in its money laundering probe relating to the tainted Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal, according to PTI and a number of press reports.

The PTI reported yesterday that two of Khaitan’s premises were searched in Delhi yesterday, with jewellery worth Rs 1 crore and “some financial documents” being impounded by the ED.

Khaitan, who is described in a number of news reports as a “businessman”, was a former board member of Aeromatrix, which was involved in the bribery scandal surrounding the VVIP helicopter acquisition. He had been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2013 together with other executives of the arms company and IDS Infotech, which are alleged to have been involved in routing bribes through Mauritius and Tunisia in exchange for government contracts to the Italian helicopter manufacturer.

Gautam Khaitan, who qualified in 1992, practices both on the transactional and disputes side of the firm according to his profile on OP Khaitan & Co’s website, which stated that “he is also a director in various private & public limited companies”.

Gautam Khaitan and the law firm’s senior partner OP Khaitan were not reachable by phone in their office for comment. We have reached out to them for comment by email.

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