NEW DELHI: A top officer of the Ministry of Finance, who served in 2013-14, is likely to be examined by enforcement agencies probing arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari’s case. According to top sources, the officer who retired from service last year, was shifted out of North Block after the NDA came to power.
“The officer and his link to Bhandari is being looked into by the agencies. The initial probe report suggests that the officer, who handled at least two important divisions in the Finance Ministry, has links with the arms dealer. The nature of the links and what kind of relationship they had is part of further probe,” said a source, adding that Bhandari will be confronted with evidence gathered by the agencies.
Sources said they have also unearthed evidence which indicates that Bhandari had several chats with Appa Rao, officer on special duty (OSD) to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. Despite repeated attempts by Express, Appa Rao could not be reached for his comment.
Investigators are also looking into Bhandari’s link with Shibu Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Soren served as chief minister of Jharkhand and was also a Cabinet minister in the UPA before he was found guilty in a murder case.
“It appears that Bhandari had penetrated deep into the system and may have used his contacts to foray into defence dealings and suspect offset works which are under probe. He had skipped three summons for questioning on health grounds,” a source said.
Investigators await info
Investigators are awaiting info from British Virgin Islands, Dubai and UK about the companies Bhandari used to channel alleged slush funds and bought properties abroad
They are probing his links to Thales group, a French company, and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company that makes commercial, military aircraft & defence products