PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India
Feb 09, 2019, 09.45 PM
Robert Vadra, Congress President Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, was on Saturday questioned for about eight hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad as he appeared before the agency for the third consecutive day.
Vadra arrived at the central probe agency's office at Jamnagar House in central Delhi at about 10:45 AM in his private vehicle and left around 8:15 PM. He was given an hour-long break for lunch.
After two sessions of questioning on February 6 and 7, officials said the investigating officer (IO) of the case wanted to put across more questions to Vadra in connection with the case and hence he was asked to depose again on Saturday.
While Vadra was quizzed for about five-and-a-half hours on Thursday, he was grilled for about 9 hours the next day.
Sources said Vadra was questioned on various aspects of his personal and business finances during the latest session.
It is understood that the last time Vadra was "confronted with" documents that the agency has obtained or seized as part of its probe in the case, including those linked to absconding defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
Vadra has also shared documents with the investigating officer of the case and has assured some more will be provided as and when he gets them, official sources had said.
The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.
The agency has told a Delhi court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra. These include two houses, one worth 5 million GBP and the other valued at 4 million GBP, six other flats and more properties.
Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.
Sources said Vadra's statement was recorded under Section 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), as was done on the last two occasions.
His appearance before the ED acquired political overtones after his wife Priyanka Gandhi, recently appointed Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied him to the investigating agency's office on Wednesday while she picked him up after questioning on Thursday.
This is the third consecutive day that the businessman appeared before the agency. It was not immediately clear if he has been asked to depose again.