In a major development in the investigation against middlemen and lobbyists in arms deals, Enforcement Directorate has issued a Look Out Circular against Manoj Arora, who is Executive Assistant of Robert Vadra. He is being probed in the case against arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, who is a close associate of Vadra. Robert Vadra is married to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Enforcement Directorate has issued Look Out Circular against Manoj Arora. He is a suspect in arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari I-T case.
— ANI (@ANI) December 26, 2018
On December 8, The ED had questioned Manoj Arora along with several other persons connected to the case, which included Congress worker and another close aide of Robert Vadra, Jagdish Sharma. ED had raided several places connected to Vadra as part of the investigations. Few other employees working for Vadra were also questioned by ED.
The case against Sanjay Bhandari goes back to 2016 when during a raid by Income Tax department, confidential defence ministry documents were found in his possession. He had several documents related to meetings and decisions of Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). During further probe, email exchanges between Bhandari and Vadra were recovered.
One mail trail recovered from Bhandari’s computer was an exchange between Sanjay Bhandari, Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora. The mail conversations were regarding payments and renovations of the London house. According to official records, a UAE based company had bought the property for around ₹19 crore.
The emails were sent to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Sanjay Bhandari’s based in London. In one of the emails, Sumit Chadda had reported the progress of repair and renovation work done in the house to Robert Vadra and asked for payment for the expenses. In reply, Vadra wrote that he will look into the issue and his “secretary Manoj” will be in touch for follow up. After that, Manoj had exchanged emails with Sumit regarding the matter. This email communications clearly indicated that Vadra is the real owner of the London property.
Sanjay Bhandari is wanted by Indian authorities under several cases, who at present lives in London.