The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) relieved Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's close aide Vincent George in the 12-year-old irregular assets case stating 'lack of evidence'.
Vincent George, a well trusted aide of the Gandhi family ever since Rajiv Gandhi's rise to power, was accused by CBI of amassing huge wealth way beyond his given income post 1990s.
George was recorded to have several high-end commercial and residential properties in Delhi, Chennai, Kerala, Mumbai and Bangalore, in his name.
However, the former secretary of Congress chief had clarified that the properties were brought from 'cash gifts' from relatives and friends settled overseas.
A CBI official told Indian Express, "It was suspected that the remittances were a part of hawala transactions, where the money was sent abroad through illegal channels and brought back through banking channels as 'cash gifts'."
Based on this, the CBI had sent rogatory letters to US authorities. But even after ten years of non-responsiveness from US counterparts have led the CBI to finally close the case and drop charges against George.
George in his defence had also pointed to the two business undertakings of his wife Lily which had added to the growing wealth.
The CBI was skeptical of these businesses adding that the business of Lilliens Exports and Diana Agencies were active in only 1991-92 and could not have achieved the steep figures.
An archive from The Hindu presented a record of George's assets, "Notable among the gifts were deposits of Rs. 1.25 crores in November 1991, Rs. 41 lakhs in December 1991, Rs. 70 lakhs in December 1992, Rs. 20 lakhs in March 1995, Rs. 71 lakhs in January 1996, and Rs. 30 lakhs in March 1997 and Rs. 25 lakhs in November 1999."
George, who had humbly began as a typist in the Congress office, had a rapid rise in fortune after being associated with Rajiv Gandhi following Sanjay Gandhi's death in an air crash.
George, known to be influential figure in the party circle, had his shares of troubles when he was accused of conspiracy by former Enforcement Directorate director Ashok Agarwal. He was under severe attack when in the early 90's his brother-in-law Sabu Chacko was convicted under TADA for his alleged links with the underworld.