Investigators tracks down Sanjay Bhandari’s secret keepers: Femme fatale key to unearthing arms dealer’s shady network

It is learnt that investigators had examined 40 text messages exchanged between Bhandari and ‘R’ before approaching her.

Published: 28th June 2017 09:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2017 09:28 PM   |  A+A-

Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari | File

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The investigative agencies probing into tax evasion and money laundering case against fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari has found the code that could sing intimate details of his alleged shady dealings in India and abroad.

According to top sources, the young femme fatale codenamed ‘R’ has turned approver after the multi-agency probe revealed her links with Bhandari who slipped out to London in December last year.

It is learnt that investigators had examined 40 text messages exchanged between Bhandari and ‘R’ before approaching her. The secret keeper confronted with evidence subsequently agreed to talk. The Express reviewed the details related to the latest development that shows ‘R’ was in regular touch with the arms dealer since 2013-14. The days before the income tax raid in April 2016, the frequency of chatters between the duo had increased and the agencies have examined 185 pieces of communication that would play a crucial role in the probe.

“She is a witness now and her statement could be used to bolster the case. We have tracked down another close confidant after examining 133 text messages exchanged. She too has been approached with the evidence for recording the statement in the case,” the sources revealed.

The identity of ‘She’ in the documents has not been revealed although an official confirmed the existence of frequent chatters between the two over a period of time. Interestingly, another close aide mentioned in the documents has not been traced.  Codenamed as ‘N’, the girl under the scanner had exchanged around 1700 text messages with Bhandari. Sources said she immediately disappeared from the face of the earth last year.

“It appears from the evidence collected so far that Bhandari was chatting frequently with ‘N'. She could become an important witness in this case and may deliver bombshell, spilling the beans on Bhandari’s network and his firms that are under the investigation,” sources further added. The income tax investigation wing during the raids on April 27, 2016 at his residence had unearthed emails, linking Bhandari with businessmen and some known political figures.

Bhandari was charged under sections 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by Delhi Police in October after the Income Tax sleuths recovered confidential defence documents during the search operation. Documents recovered from Bhandari’s premises reveals that he made an investment in two properties in Dubai and London using companies registered in tax haven countries.

The Enforcement Directorate recently attached Bhandari's assets worth Rs.21 crore under the relevant section of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). However, getting him back to India from his hideout in London would be Indian government’s litmus test.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp