The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed before the Patiala House Court in Delhi during the hearing of the AgustaWestland case that fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has links with corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar.
During hearing of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar in Delhi’s Patiala House Court, Enforcement Directorate (ED) says “Deepak Talwar has links with fugitive Vijay Mallya also”. Court extends Talwar’s ED remand till February 12. #agustawestland pic.twitter.com/WpSMPKqsIt
— ANI (@ANI) February 7, 2019
ED said that Talwar and Mallya are linked in a money laundering case related to negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India. During the term of UPA government, Air India had withdrawn from lucrative and profit earning routes connecting foreign destinations, and also changed timings of flights. Subsequently, those routes and timings were taken over by foreign private airlines. The merger of Air India and Indian Airlines had also caused Indian Airlines to give its international routes where Air India was also operating.
According to ED, Deepak Talwar had helped few foreign airlines in getting the routes vacated by Air India, and he received kickbacks from them disguised as consultation fee. ED has named Qatar Airways, AirAsia, Emirates, Air Arabia and Airbus as the companies that paid bribes to Talwar. The UPA government had decided to purchase 111 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing although the airline needed on 67 aircraft. Talwar is alleged to be involved in this deal also.
It is known whether Vijay Mallya’s now defunct Kingfisher Airlines was also helped by Talwar in getting lucrative routes vacated by the state carrier.
“Investigation is going on over the link between Talwar and Mallya”, the agency said.
Mallya is wanted in India by the investigation agencies for various cases like fraud, money laundering and violation of FEMA etc. The hope for Mallya’s extradition to India was revived after UK Home Secretary signed the order on February 3 to extradite him to India. Earlier, a UK court had given go-ahead for the extradition of Mallya to India.
Talwar was extradited by the Dubai authorities to India on January 30 along with Rajeev Saxena, who is an accused in the VVIP chopper scam. The court has extended the custody of Talwar till February 12. The court had earlier granted ED seven days custody of Talwar to interrogate him in relation to the AgustaWestland scam.