Udayavni Special

ED files fresh money laundering case against firm linked to Vadra, others


Team Udayavani, Jan 7, 2019, 9:51 AM IST

New Delhi: In fresh trouble for Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, the Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case against a firm allegedly linked to him and a few others in connection with suspected financial and other irregularities in land deals in Haryana’s Gurgaon in 2008, officials said Monday.

They said the central probe agency has filed a criminal FIR, known as enforcement case information report in official parlance, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The fresh case follows searches conducted by the ED in December last year on three people linked to Vadra.

The searches were conducted in connection with its probe into alleged “commissions received by some suspects in defence deals” and illegal assets stashed abroad. The new charges were based on an FIR filed by Haryana Police in September last year, they said.

According to the Haryana Police FIR, Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., a firm allegedly linked to Vadra, purchased 3.5 acres of land in Gurgaon’s Sector 83 from Onkareshwar Properties for Rs 7.50 crore in 2008 when Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress was the chief minister and also held the portfolio of the Town and County Planning Department.

Later, Skylight Hospitality sold this land to realty major DLF at a price of Rs 58 crore, after procuring a commercial licence for the development of the colony with the influence of Hooda, the police had alleged. The company thus made a profit of about Rs 50 crore, an allegation rejected by Vadra in the past.

In return, the state government allotted 350 acres of land to DLF at Wazirabad in Gurgaon in violation of rules, the police had claimed. In the alleged quid pro quo, the realty major made Rs 5,000 crore, it had said. The ED will probe if such a financial irregularity led to laundering of funds and creation of illegal assets by the accused, they said.

Vadra is already being probed by the ED in connection with two PMLA cases — one  related to land deals in Bikaner in Rajasthan and another linked to arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and illegal acquisition of overseas assets.  It is also probing the role of Hooda in connection with a similar land deal case in Gurgaon’s Manesar area.

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