Enforcement Directorate Files Money Laundering Case Against Fugitive Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari

by IANS - Jul 28, 2020 08:20 AM +05:30 IST
Enforcement Directorate Files Money Laundering Case Against Fugitive Arms Dealer Sanjay BhandariEnforcement Directorate Emblem (@dir_ed/Twitter)

Spelling more trouble for fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against him in connection with the Samsung-ONGC deal of the UPA era.

An ED source related to the probe said that the financial probe agency has registered a fresh criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Bhandari on the basis of the CBI FIR lodged earlier this month.

Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had lodged an FIR naming Bhandari, Santech International FZC (UAE), Samsung Engineering Company Limited (South Korea), Foster Wheeler Energy Limited (the UK), Hong NamKoong, the then senior manager of Samsung, and unknown officials of ONGC as accused in the case.

The CBI in its FIR said that Bhandari allegedly obtained $49,99,969 from SECL in the overseas bank account of his Dubai-based firm Santech International in order to induce unknown public servants to show alleged undue favour to the consortium of SECL in the award of contract of the DFCU project in Dahej, Gujarat.

The CBI said that it was further alleged that the said agreement was relating to the consultancy services to be provided by Santech International FZC to SECL for obtaining the said contract.

Bhandari, who is wanted in India, was first raided by the Income Tax department in 2015. He was booked by Delhi Police in an Official Secret Act (OSA) case. He fled India in October 2016.

He is also being probed by the ED in a petro-chemical complex which ONGC decided to build as a special economic zone in 2008. ONGC commissioned SECL to build a part of the project.

SECL had hired Bhandari's Dubai based firm. The contract was awarded to SECL in December 2008 and the company paid Santech $49,90,000 in June 2009.

In July last year, the CBI had registered a criminal case against unknown officials of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Defence Ministry, Bhandari and officials of Switzerland-based plane maker Pilatus Aircraft Ltd on charges of alleged corruption in the Rs 2,985 crore deal of 75 basic air trainer aircraft for the IAF in 2009.

Bhandari is also being probed in Robert Vadra's alleged London properties case.

It is alleged that the said half a dozen properties were purchased with the money allegedly received as kickbacks for various defence and other (including a petroleum) deals struck during the UPA tenure.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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