Firm linked to Robert Vadra gets ED notice

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The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday issued to a Robert Vadra linked firm in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in a land deal in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.

Quoting official sources, PTI reported that the notice had been issued to the firm Ms Skylight Hospitality under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
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The company has been asked to submit certain financial statements and other documents to the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case, the sources said.

The Enforcement Directorate, the report added, had conducted extensive searches in this case in Rajasthan and other places last month and had claimed to have seized a number of documents.

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The probe is believed to be in relation to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.

The central probe agency had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case last year on the basis of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a complaint.

The Enforcement Directorate has not mentioned the name of Mr Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR but it named some state government officials and some of the “land mafia”.

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While filing the case, it had also taken cognizance of reports that had referred to a firm allegedly linked to Mr Vadra which had purchased some of these Bikaner located lands. Mr Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as Congress party called the action “sheer political vendetta”.

The agency had conducted similar searches in the case in Delhi last year.

Rajasthan government had in January last year cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of “illegal private persons”.

The tehsildar had said in the complaint that the government land in 34 villages of Bikaner, to be used for expanding the army’s firing range in the area, was “grabbed” by the land mafia by preparing “forged and fabricated documents” in connivance with government officials.

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The Enforcement Directorate suspects that huge amounts of money was laundered in this case by people buying land at cheap rates through forged documents.

The state government had, while cancelling the mutations, said these were not issued by the Commissioner, Colonisation, Bikaner. The state police had also filed chargesheets in the 18 cases in a court in Kolayat last year.

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