The Income Tax department had made overseas information exchange requests to a clutch of countries, including some tax havens, in connection with a tax evasion probe against Delhi-based defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, who is said to be linked to Robert Vadra in an alleged benami property transaction in London.
Officials said the department approached the British Virgin Islands, the UK, UAE, Switzerland and a few other countries in order to take its probe forward and obtain further details about the transactions and investments made by Bhandari and some companies he purportedly owned and operated.
They said the case against Bhandari was launched in April after the department received certain inputs about the financial activities of Bhandari and later searches were carried out against him in Delhi.
The department is said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Vadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms dealer or his aide.
Sources said probe in the tax evasion and assessment of income after the searches are still on. The department has also written to the Financial Intelligence Unit to provide it with certain details of bank accounts and transactions which involve Bhandari and few prominent names in the political and bureaucratic circles.
It is expected that the taxman will soon get in touch with the Defence Ministry as Bhandari ran a consultancy firm and is said to have interests in procurements related to armed forces in the country.