Sanjay Bhandari case: Look out circular issued against Robert Vadra’s former assistant

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a lookout circular against Manoj Arora, a suspect in the Sanjay Bhandari case and a former executive assistant of Robert Vadra.

Reportedly, the ED is trying to establish a link between Vadra and Bhandari. The ED had earlier this month conducted raids on locations linked to Vadra.

Controversial arms dealer Bhandari was booked by the ED in 2016 based on an Income Tax Department and Delhi police complaint of his alleged indulgence in dubious defence deals and land deals.

Last year on December 27, the Enforcement Directorate seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of Bhandari and others for holding undisclosed assets abroad.

The assets included undisclosed deposits in foreign bank accounts in the UAE in the various foreign currency denominations, beneficial ownership of companies incorporated in the UAE, one flat in Palms Jumeirah, Dubai and two flats in the UK.

Businessman Robert Vadra was also named as an accused in the case, however, he defended himself on the alleged connections with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, saying his name is being dragged for political reasons and if found involved, he is ready to face the situation.

During ED interrogation in 2016, Sanjay Bhandari had admitted of having ties with Vadra and accepted that the email trail recovered from his computer was indeed that of messages exchanged between him and Vadra and his assistant Manoj Arora. However, while responding on a query on his alleged links with the fugitive arms dealer Bhandari, Vadra told ANI, “If found guilty I will deal with it.”

Ministry of Defence suspended all the business dealing with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari’s firm Offset India Solutions for six months.

The investigation conducted so far has also revealed routing of funds in various companies of Bhandari through accommodation entries provided by shell companies.

The Delhi Police in 2016 registered a case against Bhandari under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in connection with the recovery of confidential Defence Ministry documents from his house in South Delhi’s Defence Colony.