The UK will respond to any request for information from India on the sale of AgustaWestland helicopters to India, British Prime Minister David Cameron said here on Tuesday.
“I am glad that the Italian authorities are looking into this issue in detail, as Finmeccanica is an Italian company, the parent company of AgustaWestland. Let me make it absolutely clear that in Britain (we have) introduced anti-bribery legislation, which is probably the strongest anywhere in the world. We will root out any bribery or corruption wherever and whenever they appear,” he said after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Earlier, Singh said he had conveyed to Cameron “our very serious concerns” regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract for AgustaWestland helicopters.
“I told him that we have sought an explanation from the company by February 22 to examine if the contractual provisions on unethical practices and the Integrity Pact have been violated. I have sought full assistance from the UK in this case,” he said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is inquiring into the case of alleged unethical dealing by Finmeccanica in the purchase of 12 helicopters by the Ministry of Defence. The deal is valued at around Rs 3,500 crore.
It has been alleged that bribes were paid to win the contract, which was signed in February 2010. The helicopters are to be used to fly the President, Prime Minister and other VVIPs.