India on Wednesday cancelled the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland in view of bribery allegations.
Below are the list of stories reported by the Indian Express that prompted Defence Ministry to investigate the alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal.
1. EX-IAF CHIEF BRIBED: Italian investigators Tuesday alleged that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed S P Tyagi when he was chief of the Indian Air Force to swing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal in favour of the company.
2. CONTRACT TWEAKED BY INDIA: In the first corroboration of the findings of the Italian probe into corruption allegations in the VVIP helicopter deal of 2010,it has emerged that critical technical requirements in the contract were tweaked by India,allowing Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland to enter the bidding competition.
3. MEA TAKES NOTE OF IRREGULARITIES: Stressing that India has taken “serious note” of the alleged irregularities in the VVIP helicopters deal being reported by The Indian Express,the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said it had called in the Italian ambassador and impressed upon him that the information New Delhi has sought from Rome about the probe there is important.
India pressures Italy for info on AgustaWestland investigation by Shobhojit Roy
4. ANATOMY OF DEAL: While in the past investigation reports discussed the cast of characters and how money was to be paid for favours,the latest report filed in Italian courts is more significant as it details the money trail. The report specifically talks about how a major part of the alleged Euro 51 million kickbacks was arranged and received by players in Italy,India and Switzerland.
Anatomy of AgustaWestland helicopter deal by Manu Pubby
5. FAKE ENGINEERING CONTRACTS: The middleman,Guido Haschke said the commission deal with Agusta was struck in the guise of fake engineering contracts. A total commission of Euro 20 million was decided in his favour,a part of which he would transfer to the Tyagi brothers in India.
6. DEF MIN INITIATES PROCESS TO SCRAP DEAL: the Ministry of Defence has issued a showcause notice to the Italian company to reply within seven days and has initiated the process to scrap deal.
Govt moves to cancel chopper deal,issues showcause to AgustaWestland by Huma Siddiqui
7. MAN BEHIND THE DEAL: The probe showed,London-based consultant Christian Michel was allegedly critical to the deal and managed political parties and players in Italy as well as in India. Michel has been known for his high-reaching political connections in the Congress party and the access that he manages to get to top government and political functionaries.
8. CVC SEEKS REPORT: The Central Vigilance Commission had asked the ministry for a report last October. The CVC had taken note of the deal in 2009 as well when a Member of Parliament had written letters raising doubts about the evaluation process.
9. FINMECCANICA HEAD HIRED: The Swiss-based middlemen linked to the alleged kickbacks paid in India for the VVIP chopper deal not only had partners in the Indian power circuit but also allegedly had the India head of Finmeccanica on a monthly payroll to help them with their work.
10. S P TYAGI NAILED: The CBI is learnt to have unearthed a copy of an agreement between former Air Chief S P Tyagi’s cousin Julie and middleman Guido Haschke which allegedly nails the role played by the Tyagis in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam.
11. MoD CONSIDERS SCRAPPING DEAL: With Italian firm AgustaWestland moving the legal process of arbitration against the freezing of the Rs 3,648-crore VVIP chopper deal since February on corruption charges,the Defence Ministry is considering going ahead with its plans to cancel the deal by invoking the stringent integrity pact.
MoD may scrap deal with AgustaWestland by Manu Pubby