Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s involvement in the acquisition and sale of a five-acre agricultural land in Haryana’s Faridabad has landed her in serious trouble, as she has been named in an Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheet for the first time.
The land transaction reportedly took place in 2006. Priyanka allegedly bought the property from HL Pahwa, a Delhi-based real estate agent, and sold it back to him four years later in February
Pahwa, ED claimed, had been receiving cash out of the books for the acquisition of land. “It was also noticed that Robert Vadra did not pay the entire sale consideration to Pahwa,” the agency has said, adding that “investigation in this regard is still ongoing”.
Priyanka has been named in the chargesheet two days after her husband, Robert Vadra, was chargesheeted in a money laundering case. The ED accused him of renovating and using a London property linked to a money laundering case against an alleged middleman, Sanjay Bhandari.
Multiple agencies are investigating Bhandari for money laundering and violation of foreign. According to reports, he escaped India for the UK in 2016.
The Delhi-based real estate agent had also sold land to an NRI businessman, CC Thampi, the Enforcement Directorate has claimed. The agency has named Thampi, accused of facilitating Bhandari to hide proceeds of crime, along with Sumit Chadha, a British national.
The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that Vadra and Thampi have a “long and thick” relationship that extends to “common and business interests”.
ED has also provided details of other financial transactions between Vadra and Thampi. For instance, it is claimed that Thampi purchased a Land Cruiser car from Vadra, for which payments were made through cheques from his NRE (non-resident external) account.
“It is imperative to mention that Robert Vadra also purchased three pieces of land measuring 334 kanals (40.08 acres) in Amipur from [the same] HL Pahwa from 2005-2006 and sold the same land to Pahwa in December 2010. Further, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, wife of Robert Vadra, also purchased agricultural land measuring 40 kanal (5 acres) in village Amipur from Pahwa in April 2006 and sold the same land to Pahwa in February 2010,” the charge sheet said.
“It was also noticed that Robert Vadra did not pay the entire sale consideration to Pahwa,” the agency added.