Sanjay Bhandari, close aid of Robert Vadra, booked by CBI for corruption linked to OPAL project in Gujarat’s Dahej | India News
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Sanjay Bhandari, the alleged arms dealer and close aide of Robert Vadra, for corruption in procuring contract for a DFCU project of OPAL at Dahej in Gujarat.
According to reports, Bhandari is alleged to have received about USD 50 lakh from Korean company Samsung Engineering Co Ltd to influence officials in granting a contract for a DFCU project of OPAL at Dahej.
The central probe agency has also named the then Senior Manager of Samsung Engineering Co Ltd (SECL) Hong Namkoong, UK-based Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd and Bhandari’s UAE-based company Santech International FZC besides unidentified officials of the ONGC and its special vehicle ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPAL) for alleged corruption.
Bhandari, who is under scanner in connection with a number of defence deals is believed to be residing in London currently.
The CBI has alleged that Bhandari as Director of Santech International entered into a criminal conspiracy with SECL by charging a consultancy fee of USD 49.99 lakh from it, in violation of the integrity clause in the contract agreement between the Korean major and OPAL.
The alleged consultancy fee was received in overseas accounts of Santech International, the agency claimed.
The agency has alleged that the consultancy charges were understood to be bribes for public officials to swing the contract for OPAL’s Dual Fuel Cracker unit to be set at Dahej Petrochemical complex in Gujarat in the favour of SECL.
The CBI has earlier registered a case against unknown officials of Indian Air Force, Ministry of Defence, Sanjay Bhandari and Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft on charges of irregularities and corruption in the Pilatus Aircraft
Alleged kickbacks to the tune of Rs 339 crores in the procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft in 2009 in connection with the deal are under the scanner of the CBI.
Significantly, Vadra has not been named in the FIR in connection with the Pilatus case, however, the CBI move against Bhandari could prove to be troublesome for Vadra – brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi – who is said to be “close” to Bhandari.
In March this year, the Enforcement Directorate had stated in a Delhi court that the probe had revealed that Rs 300 crores kickbacks were allegedly paid by Swiss aerospace firm Pilatus to Bhandari, for winning the contract for the basic trainer jets for the Ministry of Defence.
ED has alleged that the kickbacks were transferred to Sanjay Bhandari’s accounts in a Singapore Bank from where it was transferred to his Dubai account. As per the probe agency, the kickbacks received by Bhandari were used to buy several properties in London worth 12 million pounds for Vadra.