ED questions Robert Vadra for over six hours in money laundering case

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra pay homage to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 27th death anniversary at Vir Bhumi in New Delhi on May 21, 2018. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi,
Feb 6. Four days after a Delhi court ordered Robert Vadra to join
the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation, he was questioned
for over six hours on Wednesday.

Robert Vadra,
the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, arrived at the
ED’s office located in central Delhi’s Jamnagar House at 3.45 p.m and
left at 9.35 p.m.

He was
accompanied by his wife and Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, Priyanka
Gandhi Vadra
to the agency office earlier in the day.

after dropping Vadra at the ED office, Priyanka left the premises.

It was the
first time that Vadra was questioned by any investigative agencies.

He was
questioned by a team of seven ED officials of the rank of Deputy Director and
Assistant Directors under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

According to
a financial probe agency official, Vadra was asked questions relating to
transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London.

The case
relates to the ownership of 1.9 million pounds of undisclosed assets abroad,
allegedly belonging to Vadra.

The ED also
lodged a money laundering case against Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora after his
role surfaced during a probe by the Income Tax Department into another case
under the new Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay

The London
property was allegedly bought by Bhandari and sold in 2010 for the same amount
despite incurring additional expenses on its renovation.

On December
7, as part of the investigation, the ED conducted searches at a number of
premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

The ED
counsel told the court earlier that the London property was part of the
kickbacks received in a petroleum deal. The money was transferred by Santech
International, FZC, a UAE-based company controlled by Bhandari.

There were a
few more properties that needed to be probed, the counsel said.

The official
said that Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP, is a key
suspect in the case as he is aware of the overseas investments and purchases
made by his employer.

He also said
that the agency also confronted Vadra with the statement given by Arora.

questioning came in the wake of an order by a Delhi Court on February 2
directing Vadra to appear before the ED for questioning while hearing the
anticipatory bail plea filed by him.

The court
had on Saturday also granted interim bail to Vadra till February 16.

Earlier in
the day, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who accompanied her husband to the ED office
made a strong political statement.

stand by my family,” she later told reporters at the AICC headquarters
where Congress workers shouted slogans hailing her. “Priyanka you fight
on, we are with you!”

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