AgustaWestland chopper deal: The insider and the middlemen

AugustaWestland
A war of succession within Italian firm Finmeccanica led to the unearthing of alleged corruption in AgustaWestland's helicopter deal with India. Finmeccanica is the parent company of Agusta. Italy's probe into the deal also cites the confession of prime middleman Guido Haschke, apart from the insider account of a former AgustaWestland official, who was the first to blow the lid on the scam. The official, a baiter of arrested Finmenicca chief Guiseppe Orsi, blew the whistle after Orsi replaced Francesco Guarguaglini at the post.

From the Italian probe report, how and when the scandal broke:

THE MAIN CHARGE

Pages 1-2

The first two pages of the Italian document details the main accused in the chopper scandal case. It names the Finmecannica CEO, other officials of the company, the three alleged middlemen Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Christian Michel as well as the Indians to whom money was allegedly paid. In particular, there is a specific allegation on page two that former air chief S P Tyagi was paid money through his cousins, the Tyagi brothers, to favour AgustaWestland in the

contract.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY

Pages 3-6

On these pages, Italian investigators have detailed how the money was allegedly generated through bogus engineering contracts that Finmeccanica signed with a Tunisia and India-based company IDS. The document maps the money paid through this channel and accounts for a total of 21 million euros that was generated through inflated bills and bogus engineering contracts. The money chart explains that regular monthly tranches of payments were made between 2007-11. These payments averaged to a 550,000 euros per month towards the end.

THE INSIDER ACCOUNT

Pages 7-11

The investigation started in 2011 after an open succession war between Guarguaglini, who was then heading Finmeccanica, and Orsi, who eventually did succeed him. Meanwhile, late last year, Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government, whose partners include parties such as the far-right Lega Nord (now alleged to have received kickbacks to swing the deal in Italy), was replaced by one led by technocrat Mario Monti. This prompted Lorenzo Borgogni, a former top employee of Finmeccanica and an Orsi-baiter, to blow the whistle on Agusta's deal with the Indian government. Borgogni told prosecutors in a detailed statement that kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland for the Indian contract through the use of middlemen and that the total amount came up to 51 million euros.

Borgogni detailed how the money was paid through a network of middlemen and consultants, with the main allegation being that at least 10 million euros was funnelled back to Italy and paid to the Lega Nord party in return for its support to Orsi's bid to become president of Finmeccanica.

In his interrogation, Borgogni says the company decided to divert funds for commissions, knowing how risky it is to hire agents for Indian deals.

THE CONFESSION

Page 12-16

These contain the confession of prime middleman Guido Haschke, in which he details how he got involved in the first place with the deal, how he managed to get a contract with Finmeccanica and who his contacts in India are. It is in this confession that he claims to have met Tyagi several times when he was Chief. Haschke also admits he received a kickback of 20 million euros of which 12 was paid off to the Tyagi brothers.

From the report

"In the 03.01.2007 contract we still talk about the offset, but actually the agreement was made as an engineering contract equal to 5% of the order. The real cost was of 1.5% while the rest was actually the commission for me and Gerosa, to be shared with in the following way: 60% to the Tyagi family and 40% between me and Gerosa. The contract between AW Spa and IDS Infotech... was followed by a contract signed on 01.08.2007 between the same companies. This contract was replaced on 31.10.2008 with a contract between AW Spa and IDS Tunisia through Hedi Kamoun, which is actually an empty box. " (Quoting Haschke's confession)

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