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Robert Vadra appears before ED in PMLA case probe

Robert Vadra

New Delhi | Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra on Wednesday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe case relating to alleged possession of illegal foreign assets.

Vadra’s wife Priyanka Gandhi accompanied him, in a white Toyota Land Cruiser along with SPG personnel in tow, and dropped him outside the agency’s office in Jamnagar House in central Delhi. She soon left in her convoy of vehicles. Vadra entered the ED office at around 3:47 pm even as a team of his lawyers had arrived minutes before him.

This is the first time Vadra, also the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is appearing before any probe agency in connection with alleged criminal charges of dubious financial dealings. Vadra has denied these allegations in the past and termed them a political witch hunt against him.

Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi is married to Vadra and was recently appointed as party general secretary incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Vadra was directed by a Delhi court to cooperate with the investigation being carried out by the central probe agency after he knocked on its door seeking anticipatory bail in this case. The court had asked him to appear before the ED on Wednesday after returning from London.

Official sources said Vadra will be put through questions on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London and his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property — located at 12, Bryanston Square — worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra. The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belongs to Vadra.

The ED had carried out raids in this case in December last year and grilled his aide Manoj Arora, an employee of a firm linked to Vadra, Skylight Hospitality LLP.

Vadra has also been directed by the Rajasthan High Court to appear before the ED on February 12 in connection with another money laundering case being probed by the agency.

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