UK To Investigate AgustaWestland Over Indian VVIP Helicopter Scandal?

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:16 PM, June 9, 2014
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UK To Investigate AgustaWestland Over Indian VVIP Helicopter Scandal?
UK To Investigate AgustaWestland Over Indian VVIP Helicopter Scandal?

The United Kingdom is reportedly considering launching its own investigation against AgustaWestland in connection with the Indian VVIP helicopter deal.

According to Exaronews.com, UK officials are closely monitoring the corruption trial in Italy to see if any evidence warrants a British investigation.

Meanwhile, Philip Hammond, Defense Secretary told Exaro that he was unaware of a formal request by the Indian authorities to their British counterparts for help over a criminal investigation into the contract.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has yet to prove the existence of any money trail in the VVIP helicopter bribery scandal while 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 Defense 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.

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.

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