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Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi's name in ED's PMLA case charge-sheet

ED has named Robert Vadra in its earlier charge sheet related to the case as an alleged close aide of Thampi.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhis name in EDs PMLA case charge-sheet

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (ANI)

NEW DELHI: In a first, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has named Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi in its charge sheet mentioning her role of purchasing an agricultural land measuring 40 kanal (five acres) in Haryana's Faridabad from a Delhi-based real estate agent HL Pahwa in 2006 and sold the same land to him in February, 2010.

According to the ED, the land was purchased in Amipur village in Faridabad from Pahwa-- the agent with whom Priyanka's husband Robert Vadra also purchased three pieces of land measuring 334 kanals (40.08 acres) in Amipur village from 2005-2006 and sold the same land to him in December, 2010.

The agent is the same person who also sold land to NRI businessman CC Thampi. The larger case involves fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, who is under investigation by multiple agencies for money-laundering, violation of foreign exchange and black money laws, and the Official Secrets Act. He fled India for the UK in 2016. Thampi has been accused of facilitating Bhandari to hide proceeds of crime, along with Sumit Chadha, a British national.

ED has named Robert Vadra in its earlier charge sheet related to the case as an alleged close aide of Thampi.

In the fresh charge-sheet, it is mentioned that Pahwa was receiving cash out of the books for the purpose of acquisition of land. "It was also noticed that Robert Vadra did not pay the entire sale consideration to Pahwa."

The ED investigation in this regard is still ongoing. However, the copy of "the ledger accounts in the books of Pahwa reflecting the above mentioned transactions were taken on record vide letter dated November 17, 2023."

"It is submitted that Robert Vadra incorporated entities with the names of Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd and Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd in India on November 1, 2007 and November 16, 2007 respectively. The same have been downloaded from the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Whereas, an entity nemed Sky Lite Investment FZE in UAE was incorporated on April 1, 2009 with CC Thampi as its sole shareholder," mentions the charge-sheet.

"During the course of investigation of Thampi and his Indian eatities in the case bearing no. T-3/219/HQ/2015 being investigation under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) it has been found that Thampi purchased land 486 actes (approx.) from 2005 to 2008 in village Amipur in Haryana's Faridabed district through one HL Pahwa, Delhi NCR based real estate agent."

It is also mentioned in the charge-sheet that Robert Vadra incorporated an entity in India with the name Blve Breeze Trading Pvt Ltd on November 1, 2007 which was later converted into LLP. "The email ID of the said entity has always remained as ic. when it was a Private Limited entity and later when it got converted into an LLP. The incorporation documents of the said entities were downloaded from the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It is the same email id on which one Beena, employes of CC Thampi in Dubai used to communicate in connection with the property 12 Bryanston Square, London," mentions the charge-sheet.

"During the course of investigation in another PMLA case (bearing for. ECIR/OG/HIU2018) being investigated against Robert Vadra, his entity Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd, and others, it has been found that one Mahesh Nagar, resident of Delhi NCR, represented various entities of Robert Vadre at the time of purchase and sale of various pieces of land in Delhi-NCR and Bikaner, Rajasthan," it pointed.

In a statement, the ED on Tuesday, had also mentioned Robert Vadra in connection with the purchase of a property in London that is part of the probe.

Detailing the association between Vadra and Thampi, the charge sheet states, "During the course of investigation in this case, it is found that a long and thick relationship exists between CC Thampi and Robert Vadra. Not only a personal/cordial bond but common and similar business interests are also found between them."

Thampi, arrested in January 2020, ostensibly told ED that he knew Vadra for over 10 years and that they met several times during Vadra's visits to the UAE as well as in Delhi.

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