The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has requested the Court for the issuance of an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Manoj Arora in a money laundering case. Arora is believed to be a close aide and executive assistant of Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law, Robert Vadra.
Unlike other warrants, an open-ended NBW does not carry a time limit for its execution. The Court was informed that Arora had failed to appear for questioning despite several summonses.
The agency claimed that Arora is a key person in the case. The agency asserted that he is aware of overseas undeclared assets of Vadra and was instrumental in arranging funds for such properties.
“Vadra was beneficially controlling the property at 12, Bryanston Square, London, UK, which was valued at 1.9 million pounds, and not only executing renovation work of this property but also arranging funds for the same,” the agency stated
in its application.
The agency further claimed that the property was purchased by Sanjay Bhandari and sold in 2010 at the same price despite incurring additional expenses for renovation. It remarked, “This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property.”
The ED believes that Arora might have fled the country. Therefore, to issue a Red Notice through the Interpol, an open-ended NBW is required.
As we have reported
earlier, ED had issued a Look Out Circular against Arora who serves Robert Vadra as Executive Assistant. 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 the 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.