With India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) yet to prove the existence of any money trail in the VVIP helicopter bribery scandal and AgustaWestland not blacklisted yet, the possibility of the Anglo-Italian manufacturer making a comeback in India looks likely.
A year after the CBI began its investigation the agency has not been able to establish a money trial and is no longer expected to file charges, according to reports.
The news comes only a week after the country’s Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran advised against any immediate steps to blacklist AgustaWestland. "The Law officer has asked us to wait before going ahead with the blacklisting of the Anglo-Italian firm. We have now referred the issue to CBI, which is carrying out legal proceedings against the firm in India," A Defence Ministry source was quoted as saying by an Indian news agency.
The MoD, last March, cancelled the $770 million deal to acquire 12 helicopters for VVIP use after the CBI lodged a first information report, following a preliminary enquiry and claims of Italian prosecutors that the company paid kickbacks to clinch the deal.
However, the CBI seems to have run into roadblocks while gathering information concerning the money trial. "Our requests for information sent to Italy, Tunisia and Mauritius remain unanswered. Some of these countries are expected to cite their banking laws to deny any information. The alleged kickbacks to Indian officials came through a multi-layered and circuitous route which is proving difficult to crack in the absence of cooperation from abroad," an unnamed CBI official was quoted as saying in the Indian media.
Meanwhile, AgustaWestland has maintained it did not offer kickbacks to Indian officials to help win the contract and has opted for arbitration.
India, earlier this year, agreed to AgustaWestland's calls for arbitration and will use this process as part of its push to get back the amount it has already paid, defence ministry officials were quoted as saying by Reuters. The three-person arbitration tribunal will consist of one person chosen by each side and one mutually-agreed neutral member.
Indias decision to blacklist AgustaWestland is set to be delayed as the countrys Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran advised against any immediate steps. "The Law officer has asked us to wait before going ahead with the blacklisting of the Anglo-Italian firm
AgustaWestland announced on April 24 that it has successfully completed autorotation trials for the AW609 TiltRotor program. The aircraft completed more than 70 power-off conversions from airplane mode to helicopter mode during 10 dedicated flight hours between the end of March and early April
AgustaWestland has increased the rate at which it develops new helicopters to meet increasing demand for a variety of helicopters. Consequently, helicopter development time frame has been compressed from the previous six years to three years starting from development and design to certification, manufacture and testing
AgustaWestland will attend FIDAE 2014 showing an Italian Air Force AW139M intermediate twin and a single engine AW119Ke for firefighting applications operated by FAASA, thus showcasing both military and parapublic capabilities. “AgustaWestland boasts a leading presence in the South American VIP/corporate market, particularly in Brazil, especially via its light twin range of products with the Grand/GrandNew model become the benchmark with over 100 units sold in Central and South America, meaning more than 30 percent of all the Grand/GrandNew aircraft on order worldwide,” the company said in a statement
AgustaWestland and the Italian Air Force today announced the signing of a Letter of Intent aimed at further strengthening their already well-established cooperation through the future set up of joint training solutions. The announcement was made on the occasion of the official ceremony for the maiden flight of the first HH-101A CAESAR helicopter for the Italian Air Force held at Yeovil plant, UK, today
AgustaWestland today announced it completed the AW609 TiltRotor envelop expansion phase with the first two test aircraft in December 2013. Together they have now flown almost 1,000 hours
The Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations relating to the 12 AW101 VVIP helicopter contract signed with the Indian ministry of Defense in 2010, Finmeccanica said in a press release on 29 July. “AgustaWestland together with the Prosecutor, have agreed to apply for a negligible fine, whilst confirming the appropriateness of their internal control systems and specifically their non-involvement in the misconduct alleged by the Prosecutor
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland will exhibit eight helicopters from its commercial and military helicopters at Farnborough International Air Show. Military helicopters displayed will include a mock-up of the AW169M light intermediate class helicopter, the naval variant of the AW159, the brand new multi-role AW149 and an AW101 that will soon be delivered to the Italian Air Force
AgustaWestland and Havelsanare today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate and jointly market and sell their complementary training products and capabilities. Sadik YAMAC, CEO of Havelsan, said, “Havelsan wishes to provide simulation and synthetic training systems, including information management solutions, in support of the various rotorcraft platforms purchased by the Turkish Government and International Defence and Government Customers
Indias newly appointed Defense Minister Arun Jaitley has inherited the task of deciding whether or not to raise the foreign direct investment (FDI) level in the defence sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. Jaitley, who is also the Finance Minister, would find it easier to address the FDI issue which is not merely a MoD matter but one which concerns the finance and industries ministries as well
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