ED files charge sheet against lobbyist Deepak Talwar for money laundering

Deepak Talwar (Illustration: Ajay Mohanty)

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar diverted Rs 90.72 crore received from French aerospace company Airbus SAS and UK-based arms manufacturer MBDA for non-mandated purposes by booking bogus expenditures in his NGO's books of account through forged documents, the ED has told a Delhi court.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) made the allegations in its charge sheet filed before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar.

The agency has accused Talwar and others of money laundering, which is punishable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED's Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana told the court that a "criminal conspiracy" was hatched by the accused persons to divert the funds.

The court took cognisance of the charge sheet and summoned the accused persons on March 16.

"The allegations in the complaint prima facie show that the arrayed accused were involved in the process of acquisition of proceeds of crime, the possession thereof and the use and layering of the proceeds of crime thereby claiming the proceeds of crime as untainted property.

"From the allegations made in the complaint, the offences under Section 3 read, with Section 70, punishable under Section 4 (related to money laundering) of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, are made out," the court said.

"In view of the above, I take cognisance of the offences. From the averments made in the complaint qua the arrayed accused, I have found sufficient grounds to proceeds against all the accused arrayed in the complaint...," it said.

Talwar's NGO Advantage India received foreign contribution to the tune of Rs 90.72 crore during the financial year 2012-13 to 2015-16, and it earned an interest of Rs 6.69 crore on the amount, according to the charge sheet.

The report said the NGO had received this contribution from Airbus SAS and MBDA which are companies engaged in aeronautics and missile manufacturing, respectively.

"The fund received by Advantage India was not utilised for mandated purposes for which it was received. As per the Memorandum of Association (MoA) of Advantage India, the funds are to be applied towards the promotions of aims and objectives of the society (NGO).

"However, the foreign contribution received was allegedly used for the purposes contrary to the mandate in the MoA," it said, adding that foreign contribution was received in a non designated account and it was mixed with the domestic contribution.

According to the charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, a "criminal conspiracy was hatched to divert the funds received from foreign donors for non-mandated purposes by booking bogus expenditure in the books of account of the society on the basis of forged documents."

"The payment made through banking channel through various genuine and paper entities on the basis of documents forged ostensibly for mandated purposes of society were received back in cash by the founder, Talwar, after routing the same through a chain of entities," it said.

Talwar, who controls Advantage India, had roped in the other accused persons to execute his plan.

"He was instrumental in generation of proceeds of crime by booking bogus expenses in the books of account of Advantage India and is thus, knowingly in possession of the proceeds of crime and he layered and laundered the proceeds of crime as untainted property in the form of loan into Wave Impex (P) Ltd through Kolkata based entities," the charge sheet said.

Co-accused Jatin Wadega controlled and managed two shell companies, while Manish Garg, another co-accused, an accountant in Advantage India, was engaged in booking bogus expenses and conducting shell transactions.

Another accused, Raman Kapoor, had assisted Talwar in siphoning off funds, while accused Tarun Kapoor, a chartered accountant, was instrumental in transferring cash received on behalf of Talwar, from Delhi to Kolkata and was instrumental in handling the proceeds of crime.

Another chartered accountant, Sanjiv Sharma, assisted Talwar in the process of money laundering.

Wave Impex (P) Ltd, which is controlled by Talwar, also received Rs 1.65 crore as loan from Kolkata based shell companies.

The ED lodged its case in December 2017 for investigating the matter under PMLA to trace the trail of the proceeds of crime.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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