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Robert Vadra under scanner over links with arms dealer, London house

The investigation will determine if the controversial arms dealer bought a proxy-owned mansion in London for Vadra
Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi, Congress Party

Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, comes under spotlight for another wrong reason yet again for his alleged link with controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. Income Tax’s raid on the Bhandari’s premises revealed  alleged links between the two and cryptic references to a London property, NDTV reported.

Following last month ED’s raid on several premises owned by Bhandari, the TV channel, citing a preliminary report prepared by the “ Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate”, said  emails were found which were allegedly sent by Robert Vadra and his executive assistant, Manoj Arora, to London-based Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari.

The TV channel, however, couldn’t confirm the authenticity of these emails. But, it reported that Robert Vadra and his executive assistant sent emails “discussing payments and renovations for the London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square) bought for 19 lakh GBP (Rs 19 crore) in October 2009 and sold in June 2010”.
Robert Vadra , in one email, is said to have replied to Chadda that “he would look into the issue”. And that his “secretary” Manoj Arora will be “in touch”. Thereafter, Arora kept in touch with Chadda using an email ID “Exim Real Estate”, reported NDTV.

In a statement to NDTV, Vadra’s lawyers claim he “does not own directly or indirectly, an house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London” and that Mr Vadra and his assistant “have not entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Mr Sanjay Bhandari and are not even aware that Mr Sanjay Bhandari is involved in any defense transaction”.

Arms dealer Bhandari formed Offset India Solutions (OIS) in 2008 which rapidly grew into a multi-crore venture before Bhandari’s business dealings were reportedly red-flagged in 2014 (after the new government came to power). While OIS recently won a deal to supply parts for 38 combat aircraft India is buying from Dassault Aviation, Bhandari is being investigated for alleged financial violations linked to suspected shell companies between 2009 and 2014, according to NDTV.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi rejected the report. “Let me also make it categorical that we have received a preliminary email reply from Mr Vadra that none of it is true. He has received no notice contrary to the report from ED or IT regarding this issue. This is based on misinformation, this is based on yet another part of the same dirty tricks department of the government which believes in opportunistic and selective leaks and therefore we condemn such attempts by the government.” he said.

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