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Robert Vadra may appear before ED in money laundering case today


New Delhi,Feb 06: Businessman Robert Vadra, who is the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is expected to appear before the Enforcement Directorate today in connection with a money laundering case relating to alleged possession of illegal foreign assets, official sources said.

Robert Vadra

Vadra has been asked by a Delhi court to cooperate with the investigation by the central probe agency after he approached the court for anticipatory bail in the case.

Sources said Vadra, once he appears before the Enforcement Directorate, will be grilled about the transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London and his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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A Delhi court last week granted interim bail to Robert Vadra till February 16 and asked him to join the probe by appearing in person on February 6 in this case.

The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property - located at 12, Bryanston Square - worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra.

The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belongs to Vadra including two houses of five and four million each, six other flats and more properties.

"We just want him to come and inform about his properties," the Enforcement Directorate counsel had said in the court.

In his anticipatory bail plea, Vadra had said he was being subjected to "unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution which on the face of it is completely politically motivated and is being carried out for reasons other than those prescribed under law".

The Enforcement Directorate had carried out raids in this case in December last year at premises of a firm linked to Vadra in Delhi. It also grilled his associate Manoj Arora in connection with the case.

Vadra had alleged he was being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.

Arora had also alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".

However, the Enforcement Directorate had refuted the allegations, asking that "should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?"

The agency had told the court that it filed the money laundering case against Mr Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the 2015 anti-black money legislation against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It had alleged that the London-based property was bought by Sanjay Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation.

"This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property," the Enforcement Directorate had told the court.

Arora, an employee of Robert Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged.


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