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VVIP chopper scam case: ED says ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi’s firm got over Rs 1 crore in kickbacks

In its evidence against SP Tyagi, who is accused of lowering the service ceiling of the VVIP chopper tender to make AgustaWestland eligible, the ED cited payments of over Rs 1 crore to a company named Krishnom.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: July 19, 2018 11:41:57 am
VVIP chopper scam case: ED says ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi's firm got over Rs 1 crore in kickbacks According to ED, this was part of Rs 6 crore received by the Tyagi brothers in the deal. Apart from this, the chargesheet mentioned purchase of 19 acres of land by S P Tyagi in Haryana where payments totalling Rs 49 lakh were made in cash.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court Wednesday that a company, which had former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi as a partner, received over Rs 1 crore in kickbacks in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

In a chargesheet filed under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the ED accused 34 people and entities of having played a role in the Rs 3,600-crore deal where kickbacks were allegedly paid to make AgustaWestland helicopters eligible for the India contract.

In its evidence against Tyagi, who is accused of lowering the service ceiling of the VVIP chopper tender to make AgustaWestland eligible, the ED cited payments of over Rs 1 crore to a company named Krishnom. S P Tyagi was a 50 per cent partner in the company with his cousins Sanjeev Tyagi and Rajeev Tyagi, the agency said.

According to ED, this was part of Rs 6 crore received by the Tyagi brothers in the deal. Apart from this, the chargesheet mentioned purchase of 19 acres of land by S P Tyagi in Haryana where payments totalling Rs 49 lakh were made in cash.

Apart from Tyagi, 10 others have been cited as accused in the chargesheet — Tyagi’s cousins Rajiv and Sanjeev, alleged middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, lawyer Gautam Khaitan and his wife Ritu, businesswoman Shivani Saxena and her husband Rajeev Saxena and AgustaWestland executives Bruno Spagnolini and Giuseppe Orsi.

Among the firms named in the chargesheet are Aeromatrix Info Solution Ltd, Windsor Group Holdings, Ismax Security Limited, Cricklewood Ltd, Long Lasting Ltd, Matrix Holding Pvt Ltd, UHY Saxena, Dubai, Interstellar Technologies, O P Khaitan & Co, International Mediterranean Consulting, Tunisia Infotech Design Systems, Gordian Services, Krishnayan, Krishneel, Tyagi Ishan, Krishnamayi, Krishnom, Neel Madhav Consultants Pvt Ltd, Mainik Agencies, Finmeccanica SPA and AgustaWestland.

The companies, the chargesheet claims, became fronts to park or move money paid in kickbacks. It also mentions meetings that S P Tyagi had with executives of Finmeccanicca, the parent company of AgustaWestland, at his office when he was IAF chief during 2005. There is also mention of a note written by a senior Finmeccanicca executive, detailing the influence that the Tyagi brothers had on S P Tyagi and how the deal will go in favour of AgustaWestland as “Tyagi family supports us”.

In September last year, the CBI filed a chargesheet naming S P Tyagi, along with nine others, as accused in the case. The ED too had filed chargesheets earlier against the Tyagi brothers, Gautam Khaitan and Shivani Saxena.

According to the ED chargesheets, the cousins of S P Tyagi played a major role in bringing in middlemen to swing the deal for AgustaWestland and had begun negotiating even before Tyagi became IAF chief in January 2005.

Investigations found that Haschke, who had been brought into the deal in 2004, allegedly by the Tyagi brothers, was so confident of their abilities that he had begun payments to them from AgustaWestland in 2004 itself.

The ED prosecution complaint notes: “Tyagi brothers namely Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep, cousins of S P Tyagi, who had long acquaintance with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa (another alleged middleman)… entered into a consultancy contract with Gordan Services Sarl, Tunisia in 2004. Gordon Services was linked to Haschke and Gerosa. The Tyagi brothers received Euro 1.26 lakh after May 2004 and Euro 2 lakh after February 2005. Tyagi brothers, including S P Tyagi, also received some amount in cash.”

In June, the ED told a Delhi special court that Christian Michel allegedly received Euro 30 million as kickbacks and sent cash packets to various people through his driver and regularly met Indian individuals, including cousins of S P Tyagi, while brokering the deal.

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