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CBI books ex-Chief of Air Staff on VVIP helicopter scam

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

After nearly a fortnight of taking up a preliminary investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday has registered a case against the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal (Retired) S P Tyagi, and 12 others for the alleged bribery scandal while procuring 12 VVIP helicopters.

According to media reports, Tyagi is the first Chief of Air Force nailed by the investigative agency. However, Business Line couldn’t verify the information independently.

The investigative agency has also booked four private persons, related to S P Tyagi, in the alleged more than Rs 3,600 crore scam. These persons include Sanjeev Tyagi, Rajeev Tyagi, Sandeep Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan in the case.

The agency has quizzed all these persons and also procured documents from Italy and Defence Ministry before booking them.

All these persons and four companies have been booked under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The companies include Italy’s Finmeccanica, UK’s AgustaWestland and India’s IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix.

More than 10 teams of CBI have raided residences and office premises in 14 places including Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Mohali in connection of the bribery case of buying AW101 helicopters.

Others named in the case by CBI include Praveen Bakshi, then chief executive of Aeromatrix Info Solution, Satish Bagrodia, then Chairman of IDS Infotech, Partap K Aggarwal, then MD of the same firm; Giuseppe Orsi, chief executive of Italys’ Finmeccanica and Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive of UK’s AgustaWestland, among others.

According to CBI, persons such as Guido Ralph Haschke, Carlo Valentino Ferdinando Gerosa and Christian Michel acted as middle men during the deal.

It is further alleged that in the procurement process of the Helicopters, some persons acted as middlemen and have allegedly influenced the deal in favour of U.K based company.

It is also alleged that Italy based company paid commission in terms of several millions of Euros to the middle men. The middlemen from their share of commission allegedly paid huge sums of money to some Indian Nationals in the garb of engineering contracts with two India based companies.

Siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 13, 2013

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