India’s ace investigation agency the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) on Monday registered a Preliminary Enquiry against the then Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi, his cousins, CEOs of Finmeccanica and its subsidiary AgustaWestland in the procurement of 12AW 101 VVIP/VIP helicopters.
According to allegations, middlemen influenced and bribed officials on behalf of Finmeccanica to win the helicopter deal.
It is also alleged that Italy based company paid commission in terms of several millions of Euros to the middlemen. The two middlemen from their share of commission allegedly paid huge sums of money to several Indian Nationals through Tunisia and Mauritius route in the garb of engineering contracts with two India based companies. The two middlemen are directors in one of India based private companies, in which one private person works as Chief Operating Officer and he allegedly has a role in channelizing money for illegal purposes, according to a CBI statement.
CBI officials who visited Rome recently have requested Finmeccanica to hand over the report of its internal probe to them so that it could be examined in India and a proper investigation could be conducted.
Investigators along with officials from Defence and External Affairs Ministry had also met senior officials of the Italian judiciary including the judge in the case to request for assistance in probing the role of Indians in connection with alleged kickbacks in the deal.