The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday moved a Delhi court to seek an open-ended non-bailable warrant against Manoj Arora, an alleged aide of industrialist Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case. Vadra is the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. An open-ended warrant does not come with a time limit.
The investigating agency’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana told special judge Arvind Kumar that Arora had failed to appear for questioning despite repeated summons. Kumar scheduled the next hearing for January 8.
Rana told the court that Arora is a key person in the case as he knows of Vadra’s purported “undeclared assets overseas” and allegedly assisted in the transactions to acquire the properties.
The Enforcement Directorate’s petition alleged that profits from criminal acts were used to fund the purchase of property at 12 Bryanston Square in London worth £1.9 million for Vadra via the United Arab Emirates. The plea said the investigation was being conducted under the provisions of the Black Money Act.
“Vadra was beneficially controlling the property at 12, Bryanston Square, London, UK, which was valued at £1.9 million, and not only executing renovation work of this property but also arranging funds for the same,” the agency said in its application.
The agency said that Arora may have left the country. “It is apprehended that the accused might have crossed the boundaries of the country,” the Enforcement Directorate’s lawyer said. “Hence, Red Notice through Interpol is required to be issued, for which an open-ended non-bailable warrant is necessary.
Last month, the Enforcement Directorate had raided three properties owned by industrialist Robert Vadra and his aides. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had then accused the Narendra Modi-led government of “mudslinging”, “muckraking” and “hatchet jobs” by using its “dirty tricks department” – the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate – to hide its “massive failures”.