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PATEL APPEARED BEFORE ED

Former civil aviation minister and NCP leader Praful Patel today appeared before the Enforcement Directorate ED in connection with a money laundering probe related to losses suffered by Air India as part of an alleged multi-crore aviation scam, officials said.

Patel appeared before the agency around 10:30 am, they said.

His statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and he is expected to face a series of questions.

The case emerges from a criminal complaint registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged irregularities in fixing air slots for international airlines that purportedly led to losses for Air India, the national aviation carrier.

Patel, 62, has also been named in a recent charge sheet filed by the federal agency before a court as a person known to alleged aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, arrested by the ED sometime back.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, who was in-charge of the civil aviation ministry between 2004 and 2011, has not been mentioned as an accused in the case.

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