25 October, 2020

The Shadowy World Of Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari

Connections from UPA to NDA, a five-star lifestyle and yet he stayed well below the public radar. Till raids on hawala dealers brought it all tumbling out.

The Shadowy World Of Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari

Ever since the Bofors scandal broke in 1987, defence deals and agents have become a cause celebre. Barely has the dust settled on the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, another arms dealer and his political connections have hit the headlines and come under the scrutiny of government agencies. In fact, the man in question, Sanjay Bhandari, was barely known to the public even though he led a five-star lifestyle and had a raft of VIP contacts, among them, as enforcement agencies claim, Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Bhandari’s shadow world would have remained hidden were it not for a routine raid by income-tax officials on some Delhi-based hawala operators early this year. While probing a particular dealer, one entry was for Rs 116 crore, on beh­alf of a Delhi-based company. A probe into this company led them to Sanjay Bhandari. On April 26, Bhandari’s offices and houses in Delhi were raided.

Finance ministry officials are still grappling with the mountain of evidence une­arthed. Bhandari, the documents seized showed, had a range...



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