VVIP chopper deal: Michel was eager about Sea King payments, says ED report

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2016 17:23 IST
Marine commandoes of the India Navy slither down from a Sea King helicopter during an exercise on board INS Vrat vessel. (FilePhoto)

British national Christian Michel James, wanted in India in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case, was keen to get details about certain government payments made to AgustaWestland for Sea King helicopters used by the Navy, says a ED probe report.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has filed a second charge sheet in the case that delves deep into the role of Michel, also said that HE was curious if some particular documents had reached the CBI.

According to the report, Michel was last dropped by his driver Narayan Bahadur on February 12, 2013 at the Indira Gandhi International airport here after he which he probably never returned to India.

The charge sheet which goes into Michel’s numerous visits and meeting with people in Delhi when the deal for supply of 12 AgusatWestland helicopters to the IAF was being struck, also refers to an incident that took place few years back in a hotel in Italy.

The report mentioned that Michel had offered about Euro 2,500 to a person Vimal Nagpal, manager of the helicopter firm’s services division in India, to “offer lunch/dinner” to a Navy team that was also staying in the same hotel that time.

“The Indian Navy team declined the offer for lunch/dinner by him (Nagpal) and Chris Cornish. However, we insisted and paid the dinner bill once,” Nagpal said in his statement to the ED.

He also told ED investigators that Michel “wanted to know the details” of payments made by the Indian government to AgustaWestland pertaining to Sea King helicopter and status of the VVIP choppers and other issues.

“On one such occasion, Michel wanted to check with him (Nagpal) whether the documents approximately 9,500 pages were delivered to CBI or not,” the charge sheet said, adding Nagpal replied to him that he will check and get back.

The records also mention an instance recorded by Bahadur where he said that Sanjeev Tyagi, cousin of former IAF chief S P Tyagi, received “three friends of Michel” at a bungalow in the posh Sainik farm area here in 2008 after the middleman asked him to pick them from a luxury hotel in central Delhi.

The driver, whose statements have been extensively used to join the dots of Michel’s activities in India, also told ED investigators that the middleman once gave him Rs 5 lakh for purchasing a house in the Kalkaji area, where he also lives now.

The house was priced at Rs 16 lakh and the remaining amount was paid by the driver from his savings, he told the agency.

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