After being deported, Deepak Talwar & Rajiv Saxena sent to ED’s custody

Enforcement Directorate. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday got the custody of lobbyist Deepak Talwar and AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case accused Rajiv Saxena, hours after they were brought from Dubai.

The agency suspects the role of senior public servants and political leaders in the cases under investigation.

While Mr. Talwar has been sent to seven-day ED custody, the agency has got four-day remand of Mr. Saxena. “They were deported from Dubai as their passports had been revoked by the Indian government,” said an official.

The agency took Mr. Talwar’s custody in the case instituted on the basis of an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation in May 2017. As alleged, officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry, Air India and others had conspired to give up profit-making routes and timings of the national carrier in favour of international and domestic private airlines. It resulted in huge losses to Air India.

The ED alleged that India had held bilateral meetings with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on seat entitlements and subsequent to the talks, the airlines of UAE and Qatar allegedly gained substantially compared to Air India, as they were given more points of call. They also carried passengers of other countries under the 6th freedom traffic arrangement.

“Investigation in the instant case has revealed the role of the accused. Deepak Talwar acted as a middleman in these negotiations.

Huge payoffs

In lieu of the above, entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused have received exorbitant amounts from the beneficiary airlines and the payments received were very near to the time of signing of the respective MoUs,” the ED said.

The ED alleged that the payments were made in 2008-09 to different Singapore accounts. Qatar Airways paid about $9.6 million to Asia Fields Limited. The Emirates transferred $34 million to Gilt Asset Management in two instalments, and another $11 million to Asia Fields Limited, while Air Arabia paid $5.8 million to Asia Fields Limited, the agency said in the court.

With regard to Mr. Saxena, who was produced in another court, the ED alleged that he was an associate of accused Gautam Khaitan and they had provided a “corporate structure” across the globe for laundering of the bribe money in the VVIP chopper deal case.

About €12.4 million was routed through Interstellar Technologies Limited (Mauritius), allegedly owned by Mr. Saxena.

The accused, a managing partner in UHY Saxena, had incorporated many companies in the UAE at Mr. Khaitan’s instance and some of them were used for laundering, the ED alleged.

Accused Deepak Talwar being probed in Air India case: ED

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 9:26:50 AM |

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