AgustaWestland deal scam: CBI bars ex-Air Chief S P Tyagi, others from leaving country

Tyagi

CBI today said former Air Chief S P Tyagi and other accused in the case relating to alleged kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal scam will have to take permission of the agency before leaving the country.

"As per practice, they are required to inform the investigating agency," CBI spokesperson said in response to a question whether the accused in the scam are free to travel abroad.

The spokesperson also said reports about issuing of look-out notices against the former Air Chief and other accused in helicopter deal scam were speculative.

"No such look out notices have been issued, as of now," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Last week, CBI registered a case against Air Chief Marshal (retd) S P Tyagi, along with 12 others, for alleged cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal and searches were carried out at 14 locations including his residence.

The former Air Chief, his cousins - Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke were among 13 individuals named in the FIR as accused, CBI sources said.

The CBI alleged that during his tenure as Air Chief, the Air Force agreed "to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres as mandatory to which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons," an agency source said.

It alleged that reduction of service ceiling-maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally - allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to come into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for bidding.

Two new names, which were not part of the agency's preliminary inquiry, have also been included in the FIR.

They include Satish Bagrodia, brother of former Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia, and Pratap Aggarwal, chairman and managing director of IDS Infotech respectively, it said.

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