The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday told Delhi High Court that about Rs 369 crore “laundered” through consultant Deepak Talwar’s offshore entities are “projected as untainted” in M/s Wave Hospitality Pvt Ltd which is an Indian company and holds Holiday Inn in Aerocity, Delhi.
The agency disclosed this in the affidavit filed before the court hearing Talwar’s plea challenging his detention after he was deported from the UAE and arrested in connection with a money laundering case on January 31.
Talwar, presently in judicial custody, allegedly facilitated dispersal of profit-making routes of Air India to private airlines using his connection with the then Civil Aviation Minister.
In his habeas corpus petition, Talwar claimed his arrest and custody from January 30 onwards was illegal detention for which affirmative orders deserve to be passed to secure his personal life and liberty.
Taking note, the court issued a notice to the ED and directed it to file a response.
Praying for dismissal of Talwar’s plea on ground of “non-maintainability”, the agency said, “He is facing serious accusation of offence of money laundering and further investigation is ongoing”.
It said so long as an individual is in custody in pursunace to a judicial order by the competent court, a writ of habeus corpus is “not maintainable”.
“He acted as a middleman in the negotiations of the bilateral memorandum of understandings (MoUs). In lieu of the same, the entities directly or indirectly controlled by him have received the kickbacks after the signing of the MoUs,” the ED’s affidavit said.
The affidavit also said Talwar is beneficial owner of offshore entities such as Asiafield Limited where money from Qatar Airway and Air Arabia was received. They said huge amounts of funds were moved from Air Arabia/Qatar Airways to Asiafield Limited, then to Wave Impex Pvt Ltd, and then to Wave Hospitality Pvt Ltd and all these entities were beneficially owned and operated by Deepak Talwar and his family members.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the layering and laundering of funds in these entities is continuing till date since the year 2008. Further the funds laundered through entities such as Asiafield Limited, Gilt Asset Management Limited, are projected as untainted in M/s Wave Hospitality Pvt Ltd which is an Indian Company and holds hotel Holiday Inn in Aerocity, Delhi.