United Kingdom Home Secretary Suella Braverman has ordered the extradition of middleman Sanjay Bhandari, the accused in money laundering and tax evasion. The move came months after a UK court ruled that there are no bars to him being extradited. The case subsequently transferred to Braverman, who was authorised to order the extradition based on the court order.
Earlier, Sanjay Bhandari had lost his case in the Westminister Court challenging extradition request of ED and Income Tax. Bhandari is considered a close aide of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra, and faces a probe for allegedly laundering money for properties allegedly linked to him.
Sanjay Bhandari’s extradition was ordered by Braverman on January 12 and the accused middleman can put in an application seeking permission to appeal both the decision of the judge and of the Home Secretary in the administrative court of the High Court by January 26.
The Indian government’s extradition request for Bhandari had been certified by then UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in June 2020. Bhandari was arrested on an extradition warrant in July that year.
London-based businessman Bhandari has been on bail on security provided to the court as he fought extradition on the cases against him by CBI and ED.
He is wanted in India for intended prosecution for an offence of money laundering contrary to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 and for offences of tax evasion contrary to the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Asset), Imposition of Tax Act 2015 and Income Tax Act 1961.
Bhandari was an Indian resident for tax purposes back in 2015, and is accused of concealing overseas assets, using backdated documents, benefiting from the assets not declared to the Indian tax authorities and then falsely informing the authorities that he did not possess any overseas assets.
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