Controversial Arms Dealer Was Proxy-Owner Of Robert Vadra's London Home: Report

30/05/2016 6:00 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 17: Entrepreneur Robert Vadra at Red Mango Anniversary Party at Ludus, Saket on February 17, 2013 in New Delhi, India. (Photo By Manoj Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The finance ministry is reviewing an investigative report submitted by enforcement and tax officials that says an arms dealer had fronted for Robert Vadra in 2009 when he bought a mansion in London.

Though Vadra’s lawyer has denied the charges, the inquiry report cites from mails sent by him and his executive assistant Manoj Arora as well as from the statements of defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari, according to an NDTV report.

Vadra and his executive assistant had sent many mails to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari, referring to the funding for the renovation of the house, 12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London, which was acquired in October 2009 for 19 lakh GBP. This house was sold in June 2010, NDTV reported, quoting from the investigative report.

Vadra’s lawyers however told the news channel that their client ‘does not own directly or indirectly a house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London’. They added that neither Vadra nor his assistant had ‘entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Sanjay Bhandari and were not even aware that Bhandari was involved in any defence transaction.’

According to an investigative report out of the two accessed by NDTV, Chadda, in an email sent to Vadra on 4 April 2010, had mentioned about the ongoing renovation work and had sought reimbursement of the expenses.

Vadra had then replied to Chadda assuring him that he ‘will look into the issue’ and added that his secretary Manoj will be ‘in touch’ with Chadda regarding the same. The report mentions that as promised by Vadra, his secretary Manoj did contact Chadda from an email id that went by the name of Exim Real Estate, the NDTV report said.

Government officials on condition of anonymity told NDTV that the communication via email was regarding the renovation of the property including chandeliers.

"It is shocking but not surprising," said BJP parliamentarian Kirit Somaiya to NDTV.

"I would approach the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax, and request them to check the property and any non-transparency in the transaction," he added.

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