The Enforcement Directorate has raided 14 different locations across Delhi, Gurugram and Surat in connection with the Pilatus Aircraft Scam accused Sanjay Bhandari. The absconding arms dealer is believed to be a close aide of Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra and is currently suspected to be residing in London, United Kingdom.
#Breaking | Big development in the Pilatus Aircraft scam: ED (@dir_ed) conducts raids in 14 different locations (Delhi, Gurugram & Surat) linked to Robert Vadra’s aide Sanjay Bhandari.— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 7, 2020
TIMES NOW's Bhavatosh with details. pic.twitter.com/fppgR9Isq9
A charge sheet had been filed against Sanjay Bhandari on the 2nd of June, clearing the way for his extradition from London. He is under the scanner of the CBI as well for allegedly purchasing Benami properties for Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The Pilatus Aircraft Scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation had registered an FIR in 2019 against notorious arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, unknown officials in the Indian Air Force and Swiss aircraft maker Pilatus over alleged irregularities and corruption to the tunes of 339 crores. The kickback amount was allegedly given during the procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft for the IAF in 2009.
CBI’s inquiry had found that in 2009, Sanjay Bhandari’s company had received the kickback amount through his Singapore based bank account. From there the money was laundered to Bhandari’s company in Dubai and then, it was allegedly used to purchase properties in London. It is notable here that the Enforcement Directorate has already stated in open court that Sanjay Bhandari was acting on behalf of Robert Vadra for the purchase of properties in London.
The probe began in July 2017 after the government had ordered a probe into the Pilatus deal. While the ED is only looking at the money laundering and financial irregularities of the deal, CBI is investigating the larger aspects of corruption which also involves senior government officials and IAF personnel.