Deepak Talwar case: ED gets nod to attach Holiday inn

 Lobbyist Deepak Talwar, arrested in a money laundering case. PTI Photo

A special PMLA authority has confirmed the attachment of hotel Holiday Inn, worth over Rs 127 crore, located in the upscale Aerocity area in the national capital in connection with a money laundering case against alleged aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, the ED said on Friday.

The attachment order, issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 28, has been confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on September 19, the agency said in a statement.

The value of the property is Rs 127.69 crore.

Talwar is currently in judicial custody.

The agency, with the approval obtained from the authority, will now be able to seize the hotel, a senior official said.

The lobbyist was deported from Dubai in January and arrested by the agency in a PMLA case booked against him and others.

The proceeds of crime allegedly generated by Talwar, from kickbacks received in lieu of securing favourable air traffic rights, were integrated in a company Wave Hospitality Private Limited, the agency said.

It alleged that this company was "beneficially owned and controlled" by Deepak Talwar in the name of his son, Aditya Talwar.

This alleged tainted money was used to construct hotel Holiday Inn, next to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the ED charged.

The posh hotel boasts of some of the most expensive boarding and dining facilities in the Aerocity complex that was constructed a few years ago for international and domestic air passengers transiting through Delhi.

The agency had earlier said that Deepak Talwar "illegally engaged in liasoning/lobbying with politicians, ministers and other public servants and officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation for airlines such as Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways for securing undue benefits for them" during the tenure of the UPA government.

"He (Talwar) illegally managed to secure favourable traffic rights for these airlines during 2008-09 at the cost of national carrier, Air India," the agency said.

Investigation revealed that in lieu of securing favourable traffic rights, these airlines made payments to the tune of Rs 272 crore to Talwar during 2008-09, it said.

"It has been revealed that Talwar created a web of entities owned by him and his family members in India and international offshore havens to launder proceeds of crime of Rs 272 crore received from foreign airlines," ED had said.

"Part of these payments were made to an account in Bank of Singapore, belonging to a company Asiafield Limited registered in the British Virgin Islands and beneficially owned by Deepak Talwar," it added. 

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