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ED summons Vadra for money laundering in Raj land scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Robert Vadra, controversial businessman and brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in connection with the money laundering probe in the Bikaner land scam case of Rajasthan. Vadra has been asked to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of the case next week. This is the second summons to him for recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials said. Vadra did not turn up before the IO when the first summons was served on him earlier in November. The ED had registered a criminal case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognizance of a number of FIRs and charge sheets filed by the Rajasthan Police in connection with the dubious land deals by Skylight Hospitality, a firm allegedly linked to Vadra, in Bikaner. The local tehsildar of Bikaner complained about alleged forgery in the allotment of land in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the India-Pak border. The ED has sought Vadra’s presence for questioning him about the operations of Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, which had purchased land in the area. The agency is also seeking to confront Vadra with the statements of those linked to him. The ED is also probing the role of a major steel firm that gave loans to a company that bought the land from firms linked to Vadra for a very inflated price. The agency had earlier raided the premises of persons linked to Vadra, like Mahesh Nagar. In December last year, the ED had arrested Ashok Kumar, a close associate of Nagar, and another person, Jaiprakash Bagarwa. Nagar is suspected to be associated with Skylight Hospitality. The ED probe in the case relates to the purchase of a land measuring 275 bigha allegedly by the company in Bikaner’s Kolayat area a few years ago. While Vadra’s name does not figure in the FIR, some Rajasthan Government officials and the “land mafia” do find mention in the case. Vadra had earlier denied the allegations of any wrongdoing in connection with the land deal and the Congress had claimed that the case was a result of “sheer political vendetta”. Read more posts… Saturday, 01 December 2018 | PNS | New Delhi

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