ED files chargesheet against Priyanka Gandhi, Robert Vadra aide in land scam case

Enforcement Directorate mentioned the names of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra in a chargesheet against the arms dealer, Sanjay Bhandari.

| Updated: 28 December, 2023 5:14 pm IST
D files chargesheet against Priyanka Gandhi, Roberta Vadra aide in land scam case

New Delhi:  The Enforcement Directorate (ED) mentioned the names of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra in a chargesheet against the arms dealer, Sanjay Bhandari, on Thursday.

It was mentioned in the document that the duo were related to CC Thampi, one of the prime accused, who had assisted the arms dealer to conceal, possess, acquire, use and project two London properties as untainted. According to the report, the properties are present at Byanston Square and Bourdon Street.

“C.C. Thampi played an active role in the processes and activities related to the proceeds of crime. Besides his role in the processes and activities of money laundering, he also chose to conceal/suppress the crucial details/documents, available in his exclusive possession in UAE, from submitting to the Directorate despite several opportunities were provided to him. Further, he has made false and misleading statements despite the fact that he was confronted with documentary evidence contrary to statements made by him,” read the chargesheet.

READ MORE:Priyanka Gandhi, Robert Vadra named in land scam case by ED

The ED mentioned that their investigation had revealed that Bhandari had engaged various individuals based in the UAE and the UK, to acquire several properties across India. Whereupon, all were either made directors or shareholders of a web of entities formulated only to acquire assets.

Bhandari himself became a director and shareholder in certain entities but held indirect control in certain entities.

One such entity was Sky Lite Investment FZE (The name of the said entity was later changed to Mayfair Investment FZE).

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“Bhandari incorporated the said entity in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE under the name and style of Sky Lite Investment FZE in April 2009 with Thampi as its sole shareholder.

“With the intent to conceal the undisclosed foreign income and to distance himself from the property 12 BSQ, Bhandari executed the second phase of scheme by way of transferring it to a shell entity Sky Lite. This transfer of property 12 BSQ from an entity whose shares were held by him in his individual name to another entity with another shareholder achieved his target of concealing his association on paper,” the chargesheet read.

It added, “The said property was transferred to Sky Lite within 6 months of its acquisition i.e. in June, 2010. Investigation revealed that even after the change of ownership on paper of the property situated at the property situated at 12, BSQ, Sh. Sanjay Bhandari continued to associate himself with the maintenance & upkeeping of the said property. C.C. Thampi became the sole shareholder of Sky Lite to assist Bhandari in concealment, possession and use of proceeds of crime. The analysis of evidence proving that CCT was dummy shareholder of Sky Lite, a shell entity controlled by Bhandari for holding his undisclosed foreign assets,”  the chargesheet read.

The ED had lodged a Prevention of Money Laundering Act case under sections of the Black Money Act against Bhandari and others in 2017. Following this, the central agency initiated a probe into the matter in June 2020, against the guns dealer, Sanjeev Kapoor, Aniruddh Wadhwa and three undisclosed overseas entities.

A non-bailable warrant was also issued against Bhandari, after he was declared an offender in March 2021.

Presently, the ED has attached four immovable properties and seven bank accounts belonging to Bhandari.

Presently, another chargesheet has also been filed against Thampi and UK national Sumit Chadha.

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