Talwar used bribe money to buy hotel in Delhi: ED
New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing a money laundering case against corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar has found incriminating documents suggesting he allegedly used funds received by his front entities in Singapore to buy commercial properties in the national capital.
A senior ED official involved in the probe said after his deportation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 30, Talwar had revealed during questioning that he had received around Rs 350 crore in several bank accounts.
The official said Rs 200 crore was allegedly received in a bank account of one of Talwar’s company in Singapore and Rs 90 crore in an NGO named Advantage India.
According to an Income Tax Department report, the bank statements of Talwar’s companies showed that $9.6 million was paid by Qatar Airways, $9.8 million by Air Arabia and $10.01 million by an individual to his company’s Singapore bank account.
The ED official said Talwar was using the money received from the foreign companies to invest in commercial properties in Delhi, including a hotel.
The official said the agency carried out searches at several places in Delhi, including a hotel and an IT company, which led to the recovery of a private server located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
He said the server helped the ED track the money trail as it had details of communications and emails exchanged by Talwar.
The official, however, refused to share when the raids at two locations in Delhi and one in Noida were carried out.
Talwar had fled to Dubai after Indian agencies started probing his role in concealing the income of over Rs 1,000 crore as well as facilitating aviation contracts during the UPA regime.
Talwar is being probed for his suspected role in irregular seat sharing on Air India’s profitable routes with some international airlines.
The ED probe against Talwar is based on four FIRs related to the Air India-Indian Airlines merger, purchase of 111 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus at Rs 70,000 crore, alleged deliberate ceding of profitable routes and schedules to private airlines, and opening of certain training institutes with foreign investment, based on the CBI FIR filed in May 2017 on the Supreme Court’s directions.
He is accused of brokering aviation deals, getting government approval for foreign companies and securing favours for clients using his ties with UPA functionaries.
However, Talwar is not named as an accused in the Air India deal case registered by the CBI.
In May 2018, the ED had searched nine places in Delhi and Haryana to gather evidence against Talwar.
The CBI and the ED had earlier also registered an FIR against Talwar and an NGO, Advantage India, for alleged violation of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) involving over Rs 90 crore.