New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Four days after a Delhi court ordered Robert Vadra to join the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation, he was questioned for over six hours on Wednesday.
Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, arrived at the ED’s office located in central Delhi’s Jamnagar House at 3.45 p.m and left at 9.35 p.m.
He was accompanied by his wife and Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the agency office earlier in the day.
However, after dropping Vadra at the ED office, Priyanka left the premises.
It was the first time that Vadra was questioned by any investigative agencies.
He was questioned by a team of seven ED officials of the rank of Deputy Director and Assistant Directors under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
According to a financial probe agency official, Vadra was asked questions relating to transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London.
The case relates to the ownership of 1.9 million pounds of undisclosed assets abroad, allegedly belonging to Vadra.
The ED also lodged a money laundering case against Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora after his role surfaced during a probe by the Income Tax Department into another case under the new Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
The London property was allegedly bought by Bhandari and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses on its renovation.
On December 7, as part of the investigation, the ED conducted searches at a number of premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.
The ED counsel told the court earlier that the London property was part of the kickbacks received in a petroleum deal. The money was transferred by Santech International, FZC, a UAE-based company controlled by Bhandari.
There were a few more properties that needed to be probed, the counsel said.
The official said that Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP, is a key suspect in the case as he is aware of the overseas investments and purchases made by his employer.
He also said that the agency also confronted Vadra with the statement given by Arora.
The questioning came in the wake of an order by a Delhi Court on February 2 directing Vadra to appear before the ED for questioning while hearing the anticipatory bail plea filed by him.
The court had on Saturday also granted interim bail to Vadra till February 16.
Earlier in the day, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who accompanied her husband to the ED office made a strong political statement.
“I stand by my family,” she later told reporters at the AICC headquarters where Congress workers shouted slogans hailing her. “Priyanka you fight on, we are with you!”