DAINIK NATION BURDEAU
The questioning of businessman Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, in a money laundering case will resume this morning at the Delhi offices of the Enforcement Directorate. The agency alleges that he owns a number of properties in the UK, bought illegally through kickbacks received in India when the UPA government was in power.
Mr Vadra has claimed the investigation was part of a political witch-hunt. During yesterday’s five-hour questioning, he has denied owning any property in the UK or knowing the people, including arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, whom the agency is investigating.
Investigators claim Mr Vadra directly or indirectly owns nine London-based properties worth several million pounds. Three of these are villas, the rest luxury flats purchased between 2005 and 2010. Sources said he was shown documents and e-mails that connect him with the properties.
Sources said Mr Vadra has denied owning any property in London. He has also denied any association with absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and his cousin Summit Chadha, who are instrumental to the case.
He has admitted to knowing Manoj Arora, a former employee of Skylight Hospitality LLP, a firm linked to him. He has, however, denied that Manoj Arora ever wrote any e-mail on his behalf, sources said.
The money laundering case was initially filed against Manoj Arora, whose role was detected during the investigation in another case against Sanjay Bhandari, by the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate had told the court.
The Enforcement Directorate said the kickbacks came from a petroleum deal, which was channelled through a couple of companies and was finally used to buy a house at London’s Bryanston Square.
Sanjay Bhandari headed one of the companies, investigators said. He bought the house for 1.9 million pounds and sold in 2010 for the same amount, despite an additional expense of approximately 65,900 pounds for its renovation.NDTV