Enough proof to nail former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica chiefs in chopper scam: ED tells court
The Enforcement Directorate had on July 18 filed a supplementary charge sheet, accusing former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, and ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi, besides others, of money laundering in the VVIP chopper scam.india Updated: Jul 23, 2018 21:21 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday told a Delhi court that it has enough evidence to prosecute former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, and others for alleged money laundering in the VVIP chopper deal.
Special judge Arvind Kumar, who reserved the order for Tuesday on whether to take cognisance on the charge sheet and summon Orsi, Spagnolini and others as accused, was told by the agency that the investigation was still going on and various sensitive documents were to be received from the multiple countries, including the UAE.
The agency’s special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta told the court that kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland through two different channels.
“One channel was handled by middleman Christian Michel James and his associates while the second was handled by Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke. Lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who is also named as an accused in the charge sheet, was the mastermind behind laundering of the proceeds of crime in the second channel,” the ED said.
The lawyers said the agency had recorded unimpeachable evidence supporting the allegations against all the accused persons. The probe agency had on July 18 filed a supplementary charge sheet, accusing Orsi, Spagnolini and ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi, besides others, of money laundering in the case.
It accused 34 Indian and foreign individuals and companies, including Tyagi, Italian middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, lawyer Gautam Khaitan and Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, of laundering money to the tune of around 28 million Euro.
The probe report also claimed that the kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland through two different channels.
The ED, in its charge sheet, has alleged that money was laundered through multiple foreign companies, which were used as fronts to park the alleged kickbacks. The agency said it may file more supplementary charge sheets in the matter.
On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.
The accused named in the charge sheet include Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa, S P Tyagi, his cousins Rajiv Tyagi and Sanjeev Tyagi, advocate Gautam Khaitan and his wife Ritu Khaitan, Shivani Saxena and her husband Rajeev Saxena, both directors of two Dubai-based firms,
Besides, the final report also named various Indian and foreign firms, including Finmeccanica SPA, AgustaWestland, Aeromatrix Info Solution Ltd, Windsor Group Holdings, Ismax International Ltd, Cricklewood Ltd, Long Lasting Ltd, Matrix Holding Pvt Ltd, UHY Saxena, Dubai Interstellar Technologies Ltd, O P Khaitan and Co, International Mediterranean Consulting, Tunisia, Infotech Design Systems Gordian Services.
“Khaitan, the mastermind behind laundering the proceeds of crime in the present case, was known to the accused persons Gerosa, Haschke and the Tyagi brothers. He prepared a corporate structure of companies and got incorporated several legal entities across the globe.
“Thereafter, the proceeds of crime were laundered through various companies in Tunisia, Mauritius, India, BVI, Singapore, Switzerland, Dubai, etc.,” according to the charge sheet.
It further claimed that Khaitan also received proceeds of crime in personal bank accounts opened in his name and the accounts of his companies in India and abroad, M/s Windsor Holding Group Ltd, M/s Ismax International Ltd and M/s O P Khaitan & Co.
The ED had earlier attached properties worth Rs 10 crore and freezed shares worth more than Rs 150 crore belonging to the Tyagi brothers, Gautam Khaitan, Gerosa, Haschke, Christian Michel James and Rajiv Saxena.
First Published: Jul 23, 2018 21:21 IST