NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate is carrying out raids at 14 locations in Delhi, Surat and Gurgaon in connection with Pilatus aircraft deal allegedly involving absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It might be mentioned here that Bhandari, along with unknown officials of the Indian Air Force and others, already stand booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation last June on charges of corruption in a Rs 2,985-crore deal in 2009 to procure 75 PC-7 trainer aircraft from Swiss plane maker Pilatus Aircraft.

ED on June 2 had charge sheeted Sanjay Bhandari on charges of money laundering paving way for his extradition from London.

Last month, CBI had registered a fresh FIR against Bhandari who is also under the scanner for purchase of alleged Benami properties in London allegedly purchased for Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

After a year long investigation, the CBI on Wednesday had converted its preliminary enquiry (PE) launched last July into an FIR. Besides Bhandari, the CBI had booked M/s Samsung Engineering, a South Korean company and “unknown” officials of ONGC/ONGO petrol addition (OPAL) on charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy.

It is alleged that acting as middleman Bhandari “induced” unknown public servants to show “undue favour” to the consortium of M/s Samsung Engineering Corporation Ltd. South Korea in the award of contract of DFCU project at Dahej, Gujarat.

In lieu of this, it is alleged that Bhandari’s UAE based consultancy company received kickbacks from M/s SECL.

The said deal, struck in 2008 during UPA-1, has remained under the scanner of investigative agencies for its alleged link to the purchase of half a dozen alleged Benami properties in London, allegedly for Robert Vadra.

As per CBI’s FIR, the kickbacks allegedly received by Bhandari in 2009 were immediately utilized by him to purchase Bryanston square in UK by buying shares of his UK based company M/s Vortex Management in his (Bhandari) own name. The property was then sold to Skylite Investments in 2011 by Bhandari. The Dubai based company, Skylite Investments is allegedly operated by C C Thampi, another alleged aide of Vadra.

Vadra has repeatedly denied all allegations against him, calling those baseless. He has also denied any business association with Sanjay Bhandari and Thampi.