Bikaner land deal case: ED cracks down on Vadra’s close aides

New Delhi [India], Apr. 12 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday cracked down on Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's associates in connection with the Bikaner Land Deal issue.

Premises of Vadra's close aides, Mahesh Nagar and Ashok Kumar are under the scanner in lieu of the controversial land deal in Bikaner.

Mahesh Nagar is the power attorney holder on behalf Skylight Hospitality, the company which is linked to the companies owned by Vadra.

Raids are currently being conducted in three places in Faridadad, out of which two are located in Buapur Village of Faridadad and one in the outskirts of the city.

Earlier last week, the ED attached properties worth Rs. four crore of individuals linked to Vadra, in connection with the money laundering probe in the Bikaner land deal case.

The ED had also issued a notice to the firm under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The investigation is related to the purchase of 275 bighas allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of Bikaner.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate had said in the complaint that the government land in 34 villages of Bikaner to be used for expanding the army's firing range in the area was 'grabbed' by the land mafia by preparing 'forged and fabricated documents' with the help of government officials.

Earlier, the Income Tax (IT) department had sought details of a number of official documents including sale and purchase agreements, list of sellers of the properties acquired, details of loans raised and details of the company's board meetings.

A notice was also sent to Vadra's firm seeking details of its financial and land deals. In 2015, the Rajasthan Government had cancelled the mutation or transfer of land of 374.44 hectares after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of illegal private persons.

On May 6, 2016, the ED conducted searches of eight premises in Bikaner and nearby areas in this connection and registered a money laundering case against certain real estate developers and Rajasthan government officials to probe the Bikaner land scam.

Source: ANI