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03:06 PM, June 18, 2013
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AgustaWestland Sends Three Indian VVIP Helicopters To The Hanger

AgustaWestland, which is accused of paying bribes to secure a contract to sell 12 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force,
has put three helicopters in the hanger as the Indian government has not responded to its request for negotiations on further deliveries under the contract.

After news of the bribery became known, the Indian MoD ordered a criminal investigation and pur the contract on hold, meaning suspending both payments and accepting further deliveries.

AgustaWestland meanwhile, continued to assemble the aircraft and three more are ready for delivery complete with "Indian Air Force colours".

As the Indian MoD has not shown any inclination to take delivery, it has no option but to keep the choppers in storage. Work on assembling six more helicopters is continuing on schedule as AW has no choice but to fulfil its part of the deal, they said.

AgustaWestland sources told defenseworld.net at the Paris Air Show 2013 that the company had written two letters to the Indian MOD and to the Finance Ministry that the contract be performed as per the terms. However, there has been no response so far, they contended.

The remaining six helicopters are under various stages of manufacture and AgustaWestland will have to fulfil its part of the contract, they said adding that the contract does not provide for suspension of the contract but for cancellation in case of bribery charges being proved.

Meanwhile, the board of directors appointed senior member retired Adm. Guido Venturoni as vice chairman. But a new chairman has not yet been named.

Italian police arrested Giuseppe Orsi in February in connection with an investigation into suspected bribes paid to Indian officials to secure a VVIP helicopter deal.

Bruno Spagnolini, head of Finmeccanica helicopter unit AgustaWestland, along with Orsi was placed under house arrest.

 

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