Sanjay Bhandari, the absconding arms dealer’s troubles have just increased as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered FIR against Bhandari, M/s Samsung Engineering, and “unknown” officials of ONGC/ONGO petro addition (OPAL) on the charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The FIR suggests that Bhandari acted as a middleman and helped M/s Samsung Engineering in approaching unknown public servants working with ONGC/ONGO petro addition (OPAL) to show “undue favor” to the company. His aim was to help the South Korean company to get a contract of DFCU project at Dahej, Gujarat. Bhandari allegedly received kickbacks via his UAE based consultancy company from SECL for the support.
Sanjay Bhandari and his UPA connection
As per the reports, the deal was struck during the UPA regime. It came under the investigation agencies’ scanner as there were alleged links to purchasing Benami properties in London for Robert Vadra, husband of Priyanka Gandhi. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already questioned Vadra multiple times during an ongoing probe into alleged money laundering cases associated with the purchase of a London property worth 1.9 million pounds. Last year, ED informed a local court that the said deal occurred in 2008 between Samsung Engineering and state-run ONGC and alleged that there are connections to the purchase of Benami properties in London.
On 2nd June, ED filed a charge sheet against Sanjay Bhandari on charges of money laundering to help in his extradition from London. There is another case registered against Bhandari by CBI in June 2019 on allegations of corruption in a Rs 2,985-crore deal in 2009 to procure 75 PC-7 trainer aircraft from Swiss plane maker Pilatus Aircraft. CBI has also added unknown officials of the Indian Air Forces and others in the case.
All these cases are part of the proceedings to tag Bhandari as an economic offender. The Income Tax department is also probing him for having an undeclared wealth of more than 500 crores.
Vadra has denied any connections to Sanjay Bhandari or the said property.