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Court seeks response from Deepak Talwar's close aide on ED plea

twitter-logoPTI | May 14, 2019 | Updated 19:13 IST

New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) A Delhi court Tuesday sought response from a close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar on ED's plea seeking to cancel her anticipatory bail in a case related to negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India. The court issued notice to Yasmin Kapoor and directed her to reply by May 20 on the plea moved by the Enforcement Directorate. The alleged role of Talwar and Kapoor in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre is under the scanner. Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, told the court that "The investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. She (Kapoor) is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by all the accused persons." The ED's plea, moved by advocate A R Aditya, said that Kapoor was the beneficial owner of properties and entities acquired allegedly through proceeds of crime which were under investigation. Kapoor was granted anticipatory bail by the court on March 22, while Talwar is currently in the judicial custody. The probe agency claimed there were reasons to believe that the tainted money, received from the foreign airlines, has been used for acquisition of Kapoor's New Delhi residence property. "Yasmin Kapoor has assisted Deepak Talwar in laundering the money received by him from foreign airlines and projected it as untainted. Thus, Kapoor has committed the offence of money laundering under the provisions of PMLA," the agency said. The ED claimed that several companies, in which Kapoor was a shareholder along with Talwar, received the proceeds of the crime in which investigation was ongoing. The list of companies in which Kapoor has been a director and shareholder include IDFS, IDFS Trading, Gulshan Promoters, Koncept Retail Services, AykaTradings, Stone Travels. "The companies are directly or indirectly controlled and beneficially owned by Deepak Talwar at different points of time. Investigation revealed that the proceeds of crime received in the foreign bank accounts have been moved to some other entities effectively controlled by Talwar and Kapoor is his close associate and has actively participated in the laundering of the tainted money... "Investigation has revealed that she was actively aiding Talwar in the day to day affairs and functioning of the companies through which the tainted money was processed," the probe agency said, adding that the case involved commission of grave economic offence. Talwar was deported from the UAE last week in connection with a money laundering case. The ED had earlier said that it needed to interrogate Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia. Talwar was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion. PTI UK SA

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