NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday attached assets worth Rs 21 crore belonging to controversial arms dealer, Sanjay Bhandari, in an ongoing money laundering probe against him. “This is the first attachment in the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) case,” the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.
The agency attached Bhandari’s assets under the new anti-black money law, the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, notified by the Centre last year to impound the offshore properties and funds of suspected money launderers.
Earlier, the Income Tax Department had booked Bhandari under the Act. The new law stipulates a fine amounting to 120 per cent of the value of undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides a jail term of 10 years. The Enforcement Directorate had booked Bhandari under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in February. Bhandari is separately being probed by the Delhi Police for violation of the Official Secrets Act.
Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain e-mails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Vadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property. (With PTI inputs)