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ED arrests Vadra’s close aide


New Delhi

In more troubles for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law  Robert Vadra, who is being probed for laundering money in overseas’ assets case by the  Enforcement Directorate, the central probe agency has arrested NRI businessman C C   Thampi, officials said on Monday.

 An ED official told IANS: “Thampi was arrested from New Delhi on Friday evening in  connection with its probe involving overseas’ assets of Vadra.”

The agency said that Thampi’s arrest comes in the wake of the investigation involving Vadra, who is being probed in a money laundering case involving foreign assets worth 1.9 million  pounds in the UK.

An ED official revealed that the agency has detected some alleged undisclosed transactions  being made from other foreign countries for the purchase of properties by people linked to  Vadra.

Thampi was questioned by the agency in April 2019. Besides the foreign asset case, Thampi and  his three companies – Holiday City Centre, Holiday Properties and Holiday Bekal Resorts are  under ED investigation.

The official said that Thampi was issued show-cause notices over Rs 1,000-crore fraud by the ED  in 2017, and he was facing a probe involving the purchase of a property in Kerala that allegedly  violated the FEMA.

According to the agency officials, the discrepancies in Vadra’s and NRI businessman’s  statements were the reason for Thampi’s arrest. 

The ED official said that Vadra during his questioning on February 6, 2019 told the ED that he  met Thampi on board an Emirates’ flight.

While Thampi in his statement to the ED stated that he met Vadra through Madhavan, the  personal assistant of Sonia Gandhi.

The official also pointed out another contradiction in Vadra’s statement. He was asked whether  he had any knowledge about 12 Bryanston Square  property in London.

“Vadra during questioning on February 7 replied that he has never stayed there. While Thampi in  his statement on April 6 said that Vadra did stay at 12 BSQ in London,” the official said.

Earlier, the ED, besides the “property number 12”, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London,  has also identified five other properties. Those include 26 Wellington Road St John’s Wood  London, 25 Saratoga Road Clapton London, 42 Upper Brook Street London, Property on  Edgware Road London and Flat Number 6, Grosvenor Hill Road, Bourdon Street, London.

Last year, the ED asked its UK counterpart to share details of ownership and financial  transactions related to over half-a-dozen properties in the UK.

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