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Net tightens around Robert Vadra as close aide Thampi arrested in money laundering case

It is understood that Thampi's arrest and subsequent custodial grilling will unravel the "missing links" in the case where the ED has charged Vadra of acquiring illegal assets abroad

Published: 20th January 2020 05:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2020 02:17 PM   |  A+A-

Businessman and son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra (File photo)

Businessman and son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra (File photo)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested NRI businessman C C Thampi, controller of Skylight Investments and a close aide of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in connection with a money laundering case. 

“He (Thampi) had been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He is also required (for questioning) in several other cases,” a senior ED official said. 

Thampi is now being probed for alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, in a case related to the purchase of property in Kerala worth a whopping Rs 1,000 crore.

He was summoned by the ED in the past, too, for questioning on his links with Vadra and fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. 

Thampi, the owner of Skylight Investments, FZE, Dubai and the Holiday Group, has links with Bhandari, ED sources said.

They pointed out that Bhandari’s firm Santech FZE bought a 12, Bryanston Square property for 1.9 million pound sterling from a private holding called Vortex.

As soon the property was sold, all shares of Vortex were mopped up by Skylight Investments, Dubai.

Also, many property deals were done in London, which the agency suspects were on behalf of Robert Vadra.

The ED is looking into allegations of Thampi helping Vadra route slush money through a maze of shell companies.

Interestingly, Vadra’s statement to the ED on how he first met Thampi, contradicts the latter’s version.

The agency claims Thampi met Vadra through an aide of Sonia, while Vadra contends he met him on board an Emirates flight some years ago. 

“We had recorded his statement earlier and now we have fresh evidence against which will further question him,” ED officials claimed.

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