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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Last bribery 19 days after deal

Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 17, 2013
First Published: 00:05 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:42 IST(17/2/2013)

Italian arms giant Finmeccanica started off sending kickbacks to Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech, but then diversified the routes through which it sent bribe money to win the VVIP chopper deal, to minimize chances of getting caught.

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Invoices details used by the company to pay off middlemen and the family of ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi point to a web of deception that included eventually sending almost 90% of the kickbacks through a Tunisian company called IDS Information Technology and Services.

IDS Infotech, the Indian company, has investments in the Tunisian IDS, headed by a man identified by Italian investigators in their probe report as Kammoun Hedi, "influential with the Tunisian elite."

AgustaWestland first entered into a deal with the Chandigarh firm on March 1, 2007 for the supply of IT services for choppers- services that prosecutors allege were never meant to be delivered. But the arms firm started transferring money for "non-existing" services to IDS Infotech from August 2007.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/2/17_02_13-metro11.jpg


It sent euro 647,612 (Rs 4.9 crore) to IDS Infotech in 2007, and another euro 977,263 (Rs 7 crore) in 2008 - the year the Indian Air Force conducted trials to pick between choppers pitched by AgustaWestland and those of American firm Sikorsky.

AgustaWestland continued sending money to IDS Infotech - euro507988 (Rs 3.9 crore) in 2009 and euro 22,764 (Rs 16 lakh) in 2010.

The last transfer of funds from AgustaWestland to IDS Infotech is dated February 27, 2010 - just 19 days after the British firm won the controversial deal to supply 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force, beating American firm Sikorsky.


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