In a big boost to investigation agencies, Rajiv Saxena, one of the accused in the AgustaWestland case, who had turned approver in the case, has submitted a diary and a pen drive to the Enforcement Directorate, which have details of the Rs 423 crore alleged kickbacks paid in the VVIP chopper deal, reports Times of India.
According to the reports, the diary belonging to Saxena has the details regarding the way in which money was moved from the UK subsidiary of Finmeccanica to shell companies in Tunisia, Mauritius, Dubai and Swiss banks besides beneficiaries in India.
Refusing to divulge the names of the people mentioned in the diary, the TOI report said that Saxena “merely acted as a front”, but evidence contained in the diary and other documents in the pen drive may throw up “significant disclosures”. The new revelations have also been recorded as supplementary statements during Saxena’s interrogation at the ED’s Delhi office.
Recently, Rajiv Saxena had submitted his statements before the court after he turned approver. He had earlier claimed before ED that his “exposure in the case was minimal” and that he merely acted as a front for other beneficiaries.
Rajiv Saxena was picked up by UAE government security agencies in Dubai and was later extradited to India on January 30, 2019. The ED did not oppose his bail application when he had agreed to turn approver in the case. After he turned approver, Saxena recorded his statements before a court on March 6, which the ED accepted and informed the court that it supported Saxena’s application for turning a witness.
The ED’s money trail, according to its charge sheet filed earlier, revealed that AgustaWestland International Ltd, the UK subsidiary of Finmeccanica, paid 58 million euros (around Rs 423 crore) as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia. The money was further layered through multiple transactions in companies registered in different jurisdictions.
The kickbacks moved from one company to another as consultancy fees. From the Tunisian entities, the bribe proceeds were transferred to Interstellar Technologies Ltd and others in Mauritius and further to UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Ltd in Dubai.
Reportedly, the ED had alleged that Rajiv Saxena was a beneficial owner of Mauritius-based Interstellar Technologies Ltd and the two companies in Dubai were where the proceeds of crime were transferred.
The AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam has been nothing short of a fast-paced thriller ever since middleman Christian Michel was extradited to India from Dubai. Several revelations came to light, from the names of “Italian Lady”, to “Italian Lady’s son R“. From how Christian Michel was lobbying for the Eurofighter and against the Rafale deal, to how he had unbridled access to the PMO under Congress regime, the CCS and even the investigative agencies. In another massive headway, yesterday the Modi government managed the get Rajiv Saxena to India, who is one of the prime accused in the scam.
India had signed a deal in 2010 to buy 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for the service of the Prime Minister, the President and other VVIPs. It is alleged that some politicians and public servants had abused their official positions to reduce the service ceiling of the VVIPs helicopter from 6000 metres to 4500 metres to make AgustaWestland eligible for the contract and had awarded the contract for an amount of Euro 556.262 million in 2010.