Millennium Post

Choppergate: CBI gears up to send LR’s to 4 countries

Even as Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) awaits to receive reply on numerous letter rogataries (LR’s) in crucial Tetra scam and 2G scam, the agency is all set to send new ones in connection with choppergate.
‘We had prepared the draft in early June, however, due to administrative delays they have not been able to send them across yet,’ the CBI sources said. In June the agency had sought Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) approval to the draft, an exercise which took around two months. Sources in the CBI said that the agency is now most likely to send the LR’s to four countries – Italy, Tunisia, Mauritius and United Kingdom (UK) – in a couple of days. Letter Rogatories would aim to seek details of money trail involving these four countries.

The scam was unearthed in February this year following the arrest of the then head of an Anglo-Italian firm Agusta Westland, with which a Rs 3,600 crore contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 helicopters was struck three years ago. It is alleged that Rs 362 crore in bribe was paid, of which Rs 140 crore went into the pockets of middlemen, to bag the VVIP helicopter deal. Former Air Chief SP Tyagi has been named as an accused in the case. Besides, four companies – Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix are also facing probe.

The report submitted by ‘Italian’ investigators shows that two Italian middlemen Hashcke Guido and Gerosa Carlo allegedly received commission worth crores from Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland for swinging the VVIP helicopter deal in favour of the company. A substantial portion of this money was allegedly routed to Indian companies – IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix – camouflaged as payments for some engineering contracts from Tunisia and Mauritius.

The report also says Hashcke and Gerosa were managing Aeromatrix. The money trail given by Italian authorities alleged that reported bribe money was paid to Tunisian firm which was managed by Haschke and Gerosa. The money was further routed from Tunisia to India and Mauritius allegedly in favour of Aeromatrix.
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