Funds received from Airbus part of CSR, says Talwar’s lawyer
From P 1
Four major international airlines and manufacturer Airbus, which allegedly transferred millions of dollars, have been named by the agency in the remand note moved while seeking Talwar’s custody. The airlines are Emirates, Air Asia, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways.
The ED’s probe over the last two years found that Talwar had received alleged kickbacks of over Rs 270 crore from foreign airlines and aircraft manufacturer Airbus for illegally benefiting them by using his contacts with the then civil aviation ministry in withdrawing Air India’s services from some lucrative and profit-earning routes.
Details with the agency showed that the first of such payments, $23 million, was received by a Talwar entity from Emirates in Bank of Singapore on June 3, 2008. Two months later, the same airline transferred another $11 million in Bank of Singapore in the accounts of a “company owned and controlled by Talwar”.
Around the same time, Air Arabia deposited $5.8 million in Bank of Singapore, followed by payments from Qatar Airways on February 27, 2009, for over $9.6 million and another $1.5 million from Air Asia on June 1, 2009. Airbus made two transfers totalling $10.5 million in companies controlled by Talwar between August and September 2012, around the time the civil aviation ministry placed orders for purchase of aircraft.
“These accounts in Bank of Singapore in which payments have been received from foreign airlines don’t belong to my client. He has neither incorporated these companies nor is he the beneficiary of these accounts. The NGO Advantage India was incorporated by Deepak Talwar sometime in1990s and the funds (Rs 88 crore) received from Airbus was part of corporate social responsibility (CSR),” Talwar’s lawyer Tanvir Ahmed Mir told TOI.
“Qatar Airways will not comment on this,” a spokesperson for the airline said. Emirates, Air Asia, Air Arabia and Airbus did not respond to TOI queries.
Talwar fled the country after the I-T department searched his premises in 2016, followed by CBI filing three FIRs on January 5, 2017.