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Interim protection of Vadra’a close aide extended in money laundering case
National

Interim protection of Vadra’a close aide extended in money laundering case

New Delhi, Jan 19 : A Delhi court on Saturday extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest to Manoj Arora, a close aide of Robert Vadra in a case related to Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday submitted before the court of Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Arora was cooperating in the probe.

Counsel for ED said, "He joined the probe yesterday. So far he is cooperating". The counsel further sought two weeks more time for arguments on the application and it remained to be seen if Arora would co-operate further.

The ED registered the case under the provisions of Money Laundering and alleged that in the purchase of a London based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds which is allegedly owned by Vadra.

Arora had submitted before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".

The ED refuted the allegations asking that "should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?" Counsel for ED submitted before the court that Money Laundering case was lodged against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

The counsel submitted that the London based property was bought by Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation.

Counsel for Directorate of Enforcement said "This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property." The Investigating Agency further submitted before the court that Arora who was an employee of Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar after hearing the plea on behalf of ED extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest to Manoj Arora. (UNI)