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CC Thampi seeks permission to travel to UAE, ED opposes


New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday opposed the plea filed by NRI businessman CC Thampi seeking permission to travel abroad for two weeks.

Thampi, who was arrested in connection with the money laundering case involving bizman Robert Vadra, has sought the court's permission to travel abroad for two weeks to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar has now posted the matter for hearing on Friday.

Thampi's role surfaced and it was noticed that businessman Bhandari along with co-conspirators Robert Vadra and Thampi has evolved a scheme of money laundering by way of transferring the proceeds of crime, multiple times from one individual to another to make investigation of the trial of proceeds of crime arduous and difficult.

From the complaint filed under the Black Money Act it was noticed that US $ 4.9 m was received on June 13, 2008 in the undisclosed bank accounts of Santech International FZC in Dubai, a company owned by Bhandari. A company Sky Lite Investment was floated in April 2009 by Thampi for the purpose of acquiring immovable assets. No actual business was conducted by this company.

Bhandari identified a property Villa D-44 Palm Jumeriah Dubai to be purchased through Sky Lite Investment FZE for Arab Emirates Dirham 8.6 million in November 2009. This transaction did not materialise but the fact remains that this transaction about property to be purchased in the name of Sky Lite Investment of Thampi was monitored by Bhandari as the draft MoU for purchase was sent by the buyers to Bhandari and not to Sky Lite Investments.

After this deal did not materialise, Bhandari identified and purchased London property by acquiring 100 per cent share of Vortex Management Holdings a British Virgin Islands based company by making payment from the account of Santech International FZC, a Bhandari company. Although the property at 12 Bryanston UK was legally owned by Bhandari during December 2009 to June 2010 but as per evidence collected it emerged that the property was beneficially owned by Vadra through Thampi.

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