30 March 2019
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said it has provisionally attached Holiday Inn hotel worth Rs 120 crore in connection with a money laundering case against aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar.
The hotel is located at Aerocity in Delhi and valued at around Rs 120.20 crore, it said.
Investigation against Talwar was initiated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in August 2017 on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry, National Aviation Co of India Ltd, Air India and unknown private persons, the ED said in a statement.
"It has been revealed that Deepak Talwar illegally engaged in liasoning/lobbying with politicians, ministers, other public servants and officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation for airlines such as Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways for securing undue benefits for them.
"He illegally managed to secure favourable traffic rights for these airlines during 2008-09 at the cost of national carrier Air India," the investigative agency said.
Investigations revealed that in lieu of securing favourable traffic rights, these airlines made payments to the tune of Rs 272 crore to Talwar in 2008-09, it added.
The ED alleged that Talwar created a web of entities owned by him and his family members in India and international offshore havens to launder the proceeds of crime.
"Part of these payments were made to a bank account in Bank of Singapore, belonging to a company - M/s Asiafield Ltd - registered in the British Virgin Islands and beneficially owned by Deepak Talwar.
"These proceeds of crime were layered through a series of international money transfers, to finally integrate in India in M/s Wave Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a company beneficially owned and controlled by Deepak Talwar and his family members in the name of his son Aditya Talwar," it said.
"These proceeds of crime were then utilized in the construction of Holiday Inn in Aerocity, New Delhi," it added.
Talwar fled the country in 2017 to avoid investigation. He was deported by immigration authority of Dubai on January 31 and arrested under PMLA. He is now in judicial custody.
The agency said that further investigation was in progress.