Former Air Chief SP Tyagi, an accused in the AgustaWestland case, allegedly bought at least four properties in Gurgaon by making payments for them in cash and the CBI suspects he may have used bribe money he got in the deal to make these purchases, sources said.
“Under the rules, the former Air Chief was supposed to inform the government about these purchases but didn’t do it...that’s why the CBI is scrutinising them,” said a senior CBI official who spoke on the condition anonymity.
The CBI made its first arrests —of Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie, and lawyer Gautam Khaitan — in the case on December 9 on charges of receiving and facilitating bribes in the Rs 3,727-crore deal to buy 12 AgustaWestland choppers for ferrying senior government dignitaries.
Tyagi has got bail in the case from the CBI special court but the agency has challenged the decision in the Delhi high court. The CBI special court on Wednesday also granted bail to Sanjeev and Khaitan.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering angle in the case, has claimed that Tyagi’s three cousins — Sanjeev, Sandeep Tyagi and Rajiv Tyagi — got 10.5 lakh euros (around Rs 7 crore) between 2004 and 2011.
The CBI has alleged that Tyagi changed key parameters for buying the choppers, which later helped AgustaWestland bag the deal. The Tyagis have denied the charge.
The CBI is also probing a few pages, purportedly in the handwriting of Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in deal, where alleged bribe money has been written against some initials. The CBI is trying to find out about politicians who were the end beneficiaries in the deal. The pages were recovered by Italian investigators who originally probed the matter.
“Guido Haschke, another middleman in the deal who entered into a plea bargain with Italian authorities in return for a lighter punishment, has named a few of the beneficiaries during his deposition,” said the officer.