AgustaWestland scam: ED summons middleman’s Indian contacts

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 25, 2016 22:20 IST
A file photo of AgustaWestland VVIP air force helicopter. (PTI Photo)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned some Indian contacts of British national Christian Mitchel, an alleged middleman, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal.

Officials said few people involved in creating an overseas firm with Mitchel have been called by the agency to record their statements under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) this week.

The agency, sources said, wants to understand the “financial relationship” of at least three people who had created an offshore entity with Mitchel, approximately around the same time when the 12 choppers deal was being finalised and was in final stages of execution.

They said prima facie there are no allegations of wrongdoing against the individuals, who live in the United Kingdom, but it is important for it to ascertain their role with Mitchel against whom an Interpol arrest warrant is pending.

He is among the three alleged middle men being probed in the case by the ED and CBI.

ED had registered a PMLA case in this regard in 2014 and named 21 people, including former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi in its money laundering FIR.

It had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan and had also filed a charge sheet last year.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

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