AgustaWestland case: ED conducts searches at 10 premises in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad

T he Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted searches at 10 premises located in the national capital, Mumbai and Hyderabad, in connection with the AgustaWestland case. An official said the ED issued freezing orders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against shares worth Rs 86.07 crore, owned by companies in Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore. The ED has already filed a charge sheet against Christian Michel James and two other middlemen, in connection with the VVIP chopper gate. The charge sheet was placed last week before the special court, set up under the PMLA Act. According to the charge sheet, Michel received Euro 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland as discovered, following the probe into the case by the investigating agencies. It was alleged that the payment was actually ”kickbacks” paid by the helicopter manufacturing firm for the finalisation of the deal for the sale of 12 VVIP helicopters.
Michel, who was recently quizzed by the media in Dubai, is among the three middlemen in the case.
The other middlemen are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa and their activities are being probed by the ED and the CBI to find out the truth behind the case.

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