ED seizes Sanjay Bhandari Rs 26 crore assets

ED seizes Sanjay Bhandari Rs 26 crore assets

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others for reported violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

It said it has seized the properties "in  lieu of undisclosed assets held abroad by him" and action has been carried out under section 37A of FEMA.

The section stipulates that if certain foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property is held outside India in violation of this law, the equivalent value of the asset can be seized within India.

The ED had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India some time ago, under criminal charges of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in February this year and also under the FEMA.

The Delhi Police had also booked him for reported violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year.

Bhandari's case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain "sensitive" official defence documents from his premises.

As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was reportedly owned by Robert Vadra,  brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Vadra's legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly.

It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides.

The tax department had last year also shared a "seizure memo record" with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these "sensitive" documents.

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