Millennium Post

VVIP Chopper deal: ED dispatches LRs to 2 countries

Official sources said the agency dispatched the legal assistance letters after it got these Letters Rogatory (LRs) sanctioned from a competent court here sometime back.

“The first two LRs have been sent to Tunisia and Italy. These judicial requests have sought details with regard to some transactions and company statements in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal which the agency is probing,” the sources said. 

They, however, declined to disclose specific details about the enquiries made by the agency through these legal mutual assistance requests used in criminal cases.  ED has filed a criminal case last year under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the alleged paybacks in the deal which has been earlier cancelled by the government. 

The agency has detected that over 170 ‘fake firms’ were floated to route the alleged illegal funds between Indian and foreign firms as kickbacks for procurement of military helicopters for the country and the LRs are an attempt to find out these details. 

The agency is also expected to send LRs to Mauritius, the UK, Dubai, Switzerland and few other jurisdictions in Europe to piece together the flow of funds. The ED, the sources said, had made these requests under the existing protocols and tax information exchange treaties between India and these jurisdictions as defined for assistance in criminal matters.
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