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Delhi court to consider ED’s charge sheet in chopper scam on July 23

Delhi court to consider ED's charge sheet in chopper scam on July 23NEW DELHI: A Delhi court will consider on July 23 whether to take cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery case related to money-laundering.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar fixed the matter for Monday while noting that the investigating officer was also not present.

The Enforcement Directorate said they have recorded unimpeachable evidence supporting allegations against all accused persons.

The probe agency had on July 18 filed a supplementary charge sheet in a Delhi court accusing former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, and ex-IAF chief S P Tyagi of money laundering in a VVIP chopper bribery scam 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 alleged kickbacks.

The agency said that 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 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.," the charge sheet has said.

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 Tyagi Brothers, Gautam Khaitan, Gerosa, Haschke, Christian Michel James and Rajiv Saxena.

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