The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case on Monday night under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), news agency PTI reported. Defence agent Sushen Mohan Gupta is expected to be produced before the Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Authorities are probing allegations of money laundering in a defence deal signed in 2010 by the UPA government with UK-based helicopter manufacturing company AgustaWestland. The Rs 3,600 crore deal was for the purchase of 12 AW101 helicopters for the Indian Air Force. The deal was scrapped in 2014.
Last December, the ED extradited British national Michel Christian, a key accused in the case, from the UAE. The 54-year-old is accused of brokering the deal between officials of AgustaWestland and Indian politicians.
The ED, in January this year, also arrested businessman Rajiv Saxena, who is accused of floating several companies to route kickbacks to “various political persons, bureaucrats and Air Force officials” to influence the deal in favour of the British company.
Saxena on Monday turned approver in the case — he has been granted pardon on the condition that he discloses information to authorities.
Gupta was arrested on Monday based on information provided to the agency by Saxena, PTI reported.