The Enforcement Directorate (ED) reportedly conducted multiple raids in Delhi and Haryana in connection with the money laundering case against aviation consultant Deepak Talwar on Wednesday.
The agency raided at least nine premises in Delhi and Haryana after it registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), based on a CBI FIR of last year. These premises belong to Deepak Talwar and an NGO linked to him is one among them. The teams are looking to gather documents and evidence, ED officials told PTI.
Deepak Talwar had started with the public relations work of beverage companies like Coca-Cola. He became a familiar face in the circuit after liberalisation in 1991. He had the reputation of being the 'go-to man' for organising FDI clearances during UPA regime. But his fortunes changed following his association with Ranjan Bhattacharya, the foster son-in-law of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Later, he became a trusted confidante of former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and worked in allotment of most of the brand shops in airports. He was also instrumental in getting approvals for several foreign airlines. He came under the I-T scanner in 2017 after he and his family members allegedly received $100 million in individual and corporate bank accounts in various tax jurisdictions.
It was reported that Deepak Talwar was accused of siphoning off funds received in an India-based NGO Advantage India, run by his family. According to IT report, the bank statements of his companies show that $9.6 million was paid by Qatar Airways, $9.8 million by Air Arabia and $10.01 million by an individual named Abdul Rahim Al Ali.
As a PR company owner Deepak Talwar reportedly had a huge army of journalists on his payroll to support the big corporates handled by him. Soon after the news about aviation scam broke out, his lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir denied all allegations levelled against him. He also threatened some media houses with a defamation case for covering the story against his client.