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CBI tracks about 28 million euros given in bribes to politicians in Agusta deal

india Updated: Jan 01, 2017 23:46 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

The CBI’s investigation has discovered that bribes were paid through two channels to politicians, bureaucrats and brokers to swing the VVIP chopper deal in AgustaWestland’s favour. (HT File Photo)

Bribes to the tune of around 14 million euros were channelled through alleged middleman Christian Michel to powerful politicians in India to swing the VVIP chopper deal in favour of AgustaWestland and a set of bureaucrats also got another 14 million euros through two other middleman in the scam, CBI sources told Hindustan Times.

“Bribes in the AgustaWestland deal were routed through two channels. The politicians got bribes through the channel opened by Christian Michel and bribes to bureaucrats and other brokers were paid from the channel operated by two other middlemen — Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke,” a CBI official said on condition of anonymity.

The official said CBI will file its first chargesheet within the stipulated 60 days, counted from the day of the first arrest.

Read | In 5 points: All you need to know about AgustaWestland deal

The CBI made first arrests — of former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie, and lawyer Gautam Khaitan — on December 9 on the charges of receiving and facilitating bribes in the Rs 3,727-crore deal to buy 12 AgustaWestland choppers for ferrying senior government dignitaries.

“We have tracked the route of bribe money that went through both the channels. Michel-operated channel got around 30 million euros as commission and out of which around 14 million euros were paid to politicians to clinch the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

“The second channel operated through Gerosa and Haschke routed another 14 million euros for bureaucrats and other brokers as part of the commission from the deal,” said the official.

The CBI investigation revealed that Haschke and Gerosa in all got 28 million euros from the Italy-based Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland.

Read | VVIP chopper deal: CBI gets partial responses to its letters establishing the AgustaWestland money trail

As far as SP Tyagi and his cousins are concerned, the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering part of the scam, has formally charged that Haschke and Gerosa through their companies — Gordian Services Sarl and IDS (both registered in Tunisia) paid at least 10.5 lakh euros to Sanjeev Tyagi, Sandeep Tyagi and Rajiv Tyagi (cousins of SP Tyagi).

The ED probe found that the payment of 4,05,625 euros (around Rs 2.49 crore) was made through banking channel to the Tyagi brothers between 2004 and March, 2011 and remaining payment of 6,44,975 euros (around Rs 4.5 crore) was made in cash between April, 2011 to December, 2011.

The Tyagis have denied the charges.