Chopper deal: ED files chargesheet

The Enforcement Directorate had filed a chargesheet against 34 persons accused and also against companies in the Rs. 3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case. Among those arraigned is former IAF chief S.P. Tyagi.

The agency said Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former directors of Italy-based Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, had also been named as accused.

It had been alleged that AgustaWestland paid bribes through two different channels to bag the deal. “One channel was handled by middleman Christian Michel James and the other by Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke. Gerosa and Haschke, in collusion with the former IAF chief’s cousins, conspired with accused Gautam Khaitan and OP Khaitan & Co, Auditors and Solicitors,” said an ED official. Khaitan, the accused mastermind behind the laundering of proceeds of crime in the case, was known to Gerosa, Haschke and the Tyagi brothers.

The proceeds were laundered through several companies in Tunisia, Mauritius, India, British Virgin Island, Singapore, Switzerland, Dubai and other countries.

The ED had alleged that Khaitan’s associate Rajiv Saxena, a Dubai-based NRI, is the director and shareholder of Interstellar Technologies (Mauritius), one of the main fronts used for money laundering.The agency had earlier attached properties worth Rs. 10 crore and frozen shares worth more than Rs. 150 crore belonging to the Tyagi brothers, Khaitan, Gerosa, Haschke, Christian Michel and Saxena.

The evidence listed in the charge sheet will be produced in a UAE court hearing India’s request for the extradition of alleged middleman Christian Michel. He is currently under detention.

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