Lobbyist helped foreign airlines at AI’s cost

New Delhi: Probe agencies are investigating corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar's links with over 50 domestic and overseas firms that are suspected to be "fronts" to launder illicit funds he got from his clients, according to a probe report.

According to it, Talwar paid bribes to bureaucrats and politicians to secure "favourable" air traffic rights for his foreign clients and received over Rs 272 crore funds from these airlines as "compensation for the favours secured".

Talwar was deported to India from Dubai early this year after which he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI for his alleged role in lobbying in various UPA-era government deals, primarily in the aviation sector.

He is in judicial custody at present and has denied all allegations made by probe agencies against him.

The businessman has been charged with illegally managing to secure favourable traffic rights for at least three foreign airlines, during 2008-09, at the cost of national carrier, Air India.

The report, accessed by PTI, states, "Investigation revealed that Deepak Talwar used various entities in the name of his son Aditya Talwar, family members and associates to receive the exorbitant amount from Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways."

"These receipts are proceeds of crime generated by Talwar for the purpose of paying illegal gratification to the public servants in India in getting favourable air traffic rights for them (foreign airlines operating in India)," the ED has said.

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