The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing alleged receipt of kickbacks in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP AgustaWestland deal, is set to send formal requests —Letters Rogatories (LRs) —via judicial channels to the UK, Italy, Mauritius and Tunisia to acquire details on accused firms and individuals.
The draft copy of the formal requests are ready and the CBI will seek the home ministry’s approval on Monday before initiating the process for forwarding them to authorities in the four countries, said a CBI source.
The Letters Rogatories would seek information pertaining to financial transactions and ownership details of foreign-based accused firms, including the Italian “Finmeccanica, its subsidiary AgustaWestland, Infotech Design System Limited (Mauritius) and IDS (Tunisia),” said the source.
The CBI suspects that two Indian firms, IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, were allegedly using middlemen to send bribes masked as payments for engineering contracts to some Indian accused via Tunisia and Mauritius.
The CBI has frozen bank accounts of eight Indians, including former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi and three of his cousins, named as accused in the case. The agency has also frozen accounts of two Indian firms named in its FIR.