ED questions Vadra for over 8 hours, asks him to appear again on Monday

New Delhi (IANS) Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, was on Saturday questioned for over eight hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case. He has been asked to join the investigation again on Monday at 11 a.m.

It was for the third consecutive day that the ED questioned Vadra in connection with the case. The ED had on Wednesday grilled Vadra for over six hours and for over nine hours on Thursday. 

Vadra had arrived at the ED's Jamnagar House office around 10.45 a.m. He stepped out for lunch around 1.50 p.m. and returned to join the probe at 2.50 p.m.

The questioning went on till 8.30 p.m.

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

A money laundering case was registered 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 laws against absconding defence 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.

Vadra is being questioned on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London. Earlier, the agency had confronted Vadra with his mails that were exchanged with Sumit Chadha, a relative of absconding arms dealer Bhandari.

According to the ED sources, Vadra was on Saturday confronted with the statement given by Arora and also asked about the other London properties. 

On December 7, 2018, as part of the investigation, the ED conducted searches at a number of premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

The ED told a city 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.

Arora, who is 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.

The 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.

Vadra was on February 2 granted interim bail for a fortnight.

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