Money Laundering Shadows Air Pockets of India

India's Air pockets are found to be most affected by large scale corruption and money laundering activities.

India’s two government owned aviation activities were the focus of enforcement actions. On one side there were deals with Indian Air force and on other side were the deals with Air India.

Enforcement Directorate actions revealed that Money Launderers were using smart techniques to change the colour of the dirty money obtained from corruption or as the proceeds of organized crime. Money laundering activities impacted the legitimate businesses of Indian Air force and Air India.

RT analysed the enforcement events to understand secret styles of sophisticated launderers. The amounts of money involved in these laundering transactions was huge. Here is our report on the notable money launderers in India.

Money Laundering related to Air India

Custody of Deepak Talwarrevealed how his criminal activity impacted the aviation sector. Deepak Talwar was associated with the aviation companies like Air Arabia and Emirates. These companies paid hefty sums to the companies of Deepak Talwar to allot profitable routes.

Air India and Indian Airlines purchased aircrafts worth $11 Billion from Air Bus and Boieng. Advantage India, NGO of Deepak Talwar received Rs. 90 crores, as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) of Air Bus.

Department of Justice of United States is believed to be investigating the Airbus for violation of the provisions of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Money Laundering related to Air force

Law enforcement agencies filed the cases against ex-air chief marshall S P Tyagi and his family for accepting the bribes in augusta westland case. Noted Indian Lawyer Gautam Khaitan helped his clients to incorporate the shell companies across the world. He also routed the kickbacks of the defense deals through the bank accounts of Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia, and IDS Sarl, Tunisia etc.

Chartered Accountant, Rajeev Saxena is the witness in the Augusta Westland case who knows about the chain used to launder the proceeds of crime. He was the partner of UHY Saxena, accountancy firm with more than $640 million turnover. Financial Transactions with the shell companies of Augusta Westland landed him in the custody of Enforcement Directorate.

Christian Michel, declared a fugitive, had diverted $28 million through the two Saxena firms M/s UHY Saxena, Dubai & M/s Matrix Holdings. This $28 million was believed to be kickbacks for officials in the Indian Air Force and defence ministry.

Questioning Robert Vadra exposed how real estate sector is vulnerable to money laundering. However, his links with Sanjay Bhandari put the light on the Rafale deal. It also revealed that 7,50,000 Swiss Francs were paid by Pilatus to Bhandari’s Offset India Solution Pvt Ltd.

These transactions related to the aviation sector require financial institutions to take a close look at mechanism to identify and control the suspicious transactions. Transactions seen to be from legitimate source may sometime prove to be risk for the financial system. Bankers in India need to closely watch the exposure on the firms associated with these fugitives and power brokers. Banks would require to ramp up their capacity of certified anti money laundering experts to combat the money laundering menace.