ED attaches Dubai villa, 5 Swiss bank accounts of AgustaWestland scam accused Rajiv Saxena
In one of the biggest attachments so far in UPA-era AgustaWestland scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth US dollars 50.90 million (equivalent to Rs 385.44 crore) including a villa in Palm Jubeirah, Dubai and five Swiss bank accounts belonging to AgustaWestland scam alleged middleman Rajiv Saxena, who the agency says managed the proceeds of crime and tainted money of many high profile and High Net worth Individuals (HNIs).
The value of the villa in Palm Jumeirah (Dubai) is worth 20 million Dirhams and money attached in five Swiss bank accounts is worth US dollars 45.5 million, the ED said in a press statement on Friday. The agency had sent a Letter of Request to Swiss Confederation to restrain his Swiss bank accounts and ensure that Saxena did not transfer or dispose-off the suspected proceeds of crime.
The accused-turn-approver in AgustaWestland scam, Saxena was deported to India from the UAE on January 31 last year and arrested under money laundering act for routing money belonging to several accused.
ED has claimed that Saxena is a ‘hawala operator’ and accommodation entry provider who runs the accommodation entry business in Dubai through numerous companies known as Matrix Group companies and has laundered proceeds of crime in the cases of AgustaWestland scam, or VVIP chopper scam.
Saxena is also named as accused for assisting Ratul Puri, nephew of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, in money laundering in the VVIP chopper scam as well as a separate case against Moser Baer India Ltd related to bank fraud. “Rajiv Saxena created structures for laundering proceeds of crime generated by accused of both cases either for the kickbacks in AgustaWestland case or defrauding banks by mis-utilising the loans given to Moser Baer
The agency has lately been trying to get his approver status revoked claiming that he misled the investigators and withheld crucial information. However, a Delhi court has refused to revoke his approver status, which is being challenged by the agency in Delhi high court.
“Rajiv Saxena manages the proceeds of crime and tainted funds of many high profile and High Net worth Individuals (HNIs). He has admitted to laundering the proceeds of crime not only of the AgustaWestland deal but also various other defence deals. The proceeds of crime have also been transferred to the personal accounts of Rajiv Saxena and his wife Shivani Saxena (also an accused in AgustaWestland case),” the ED press release stated.
In the Moser Baer case, the ED said, the proceeds of crime belonging to Deepak Puri (father of Ratul Puri) amounting to USD 16.33 million were also managed by Saxena.
“From the analysis of digital evidences and accounts of the Puri family maintained by Rajiv Saxena, it has been revealed that the amount of USD 16.33 million is proceeds of crime in the hands of Rajiv Saxena belonging to Deepak Puri and is parked in the accounts of companies of Matrix Group. Similarly, proceeds of crime belonging to Ratul Puri and transferred to Rajiv Saxena from an undisclosed foreign entity have also been attached,” said the ED.
Saxena’s lawyer R K Handoo said, “What’s happening is very wrong and is harassment of Rajiv Saxena by the agency. He was made an approver and now the agency is making these claims. Won’t the statement given by him against any person become null and void in that case?”
Puri’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal refused to comment.