Arvind Kejriwal
The ED is seeking Apple's help to unlock Arvind Kejriwal's iPhone Wikimedia Commons

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigators, who are currently holding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in custody, have contacted Apple seeking assistance in accessing his iPhone, according to a report by The Indian Express.

While ED couldn't recover electronic evidence against Kejriwal in the form of his personal computers or desktops, it managed to get its hands on four mobile phones, including his. The central probe agency has confiscated these devices.

According to the sources, around Rs 70,000 (£668.90) was discovered during his arrest on March 21 and remained untouched. Kejriwal had reportedly switched off his iPhone and refused to share his password.

In 2018, Apple updated its iOS software to address a security vulnerability that enabled law enforcement to access personal data from locked iPhones without a password. So, the ED can only access Kejriwal's iPhone with Apple's help.

During his questioning, the Chief Minister asserted that by accessing his phone data and chats, the ED would gain insights into crucial details about his party, AAP's "election strategy," and pre-election alliances.

Kejriwal informed the ED that he had used the same phone for approximately a year. He claims he no longer possesses the device he used to draft the liquor policy in 2020-2021.

Unlocking Secrets: The Apple connection in Kejriwal's case

According to reports, the ED has contacted Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone, to obtain access to the CM's handset. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant, hit with new EU regulations last month, informed the agency that a password was necessary to retrieve any data.

Senior officials have disclosed that the agency interrogates the CM for approximately five hours daily. The ED requested a 15-day judicial custody of Kejriwal, citing his lack of cooperation. On Monday, a Delhi Court remanded him to judicial custody until April 15 concerning the money laundering case linked to an alleged excise policy scam.
"The Central Bureau of Investigation, which has registered the predicate offense in the case, may also ask for his custodial remand now or can be granted this even if the Chief Minister is in JC in Tihar Jail," a top official said.

Kejriwal reportedly told the ED investigators questioning him that he did not respond to the series of summons before his arrest based on "legal advice." Kejriwal is accused of money laundering by implementing the new liquor policy.
The ED remand claims Kejriwal illegally obtained Rs 100 crore (£9,562,587), of which 45 crore (£4,303,319.65) purportedly financed AAP's 2021-22 election campaign in Goa.
While in custody, Kejriwal has also been "confronted" with C Arvind, the former PS to incarcerated Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. As per the remand application, Arvind was given the draft of the Group of Ministers report on the liquor policy at Kejriwal's residence.

The officials suggest the Chief Minister has been "confronted" with "one or two more" critical individuals associated with the case, although their names were not disclosed. C Arvind reaffirmed his statement in the presence of the Chief Minister, who allegedly claimed he couldn't recall the instructions he is said to have given him.

When questioned about his directives to officials and politicians, Kejriwal reportedly responded that there was a constant stream of MLAs and political workers meeting him daily, and he could not remember specific conversations.