New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday moved a Delhi court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to a close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar in an alleged money laundering case related to negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India.
The ED's plea said that Yasmin Kapoor was the beneficial owner of properties and entities acquired allegedly through proceeds of crime which were under investigation.
Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, said, "The investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. She is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by all the accused persons."
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 in an application moved by advocate A R Aditya 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.
Kapoor had sought anticipatory bail, claiming that the ED had threatened her to take names and also convince Talwar to give names of government officials/political functionaries, failing which she would be arrested and face trouble.
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.
The agency had claimed entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia and submitted a chart of total $60.54 million received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008 to February 6, 2009.
His alleged role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre is under the scanner as well.
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.