The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Friday carried out searches against three people linked to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, in connection with its probe into alleged “commissions received by some suspects in defence deals” and illegal assets stashed abroad, officials said.
This is for the first time that Vadra’s associates have been linked to alleged commissions received in defence deals by the Enforcement Directorate.
The raids that began around 12 noon were carried out at multiple premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, they said.
“The searches were carried out at the premises of two employees of firms linked to Vadra and another person. These people are suspected to have received commissions out of a defence deal and they subsequently invested these funds to procure illegal assets abroad,” ED sources claimed.
They said they have some “fresh evidence” to take action.
They, however, did not disclose the names of the people whose premises were searched or the defence deal under their scanner stating that the “search action was ongoing”.
The raids come three days after the CBI extradited Christian James Michael, the alleged middleman in Rs 3,700 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
The searches left Vadra’s lawyer Suman Jyoti Khaitan fuming. He alleged that the ED teams entered the premises of associates of his client without showing “search warrants”.
He claimed that the premises were locked from inside and questioned the government’s motive behind it.
Khaitan went on to claim that probably evidence was being fabricated.
The Congress party also reacted sharply on the Enforcement Directorate’s action and said an “unnerved” Modi government was unleashing “vendetta” against party chief Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law to divert the narrative.
“Sure shot defeat in 5 States unnerves Modi Govt to again use the old tools – unleash revenge and vendetta against Mr. Robert Vadra to divert the narrative,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
“Such cowardice and intimidation will not subjugate either the Congress Party or the will of people,” he said.