Robert Vadra appears before ED in money laundering case

New Delhi: Four days after a Delhi court ordered Robert Vadra to join the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation, he appeared before the agency here on Wednesday.

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.

He was accompanied by his wife and Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

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

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 Bhandari.

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.

Vadra was not present in the court. Vadra’s counsel informed the court that he was in London to take care of his ailing mother.

A Delhi court had on Saturday granted interim bail to Vadra till February 16 while hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by him.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed Vadra to join the ED investigation on February 6.