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In his interrogation, which is part of the 568-page report by Italian investigators, Borgogni says the company decided to divert funds for commissions, knowing how risky it is to hire agents for Indian deals.
"Paid mediation is forbidden in India. And this is very risky because if India comes to know, it can cancel the contract and blacklist Finmeccanica, as it happened earlier with a French company, I think. So the money comes out of Agusta and goes to Haschke and to Michel, from Michel to Orsi, from Orsi to Lega Nord (political party)," Borgogni says in the investigation report.
With this as the starting point, Italian prosecutors began an elaborate inquiry—involving planting of bugs, intercepting phone conversations, shadowing and tailing key suspects, scrutinising finances and recording secret audio and video clips—to establish if irregularities took place. The inquiry, which runs into hundreds of pages of evidence ranging from taped conversations to seized papers and confessions of business partners and associates of the key players, brings out several facts that point to money laundering and corruption in connection with the VVIP deal.
THE MONEY FLOW
While facts continue to emerge in the case, the money trail has allegedly led to two middlemen who managed to 'fix' the deal in India. One is Switzerland-based Guido Haschke, who was allegedly used by AgustaWestland to swing the Indian contract. Haschke and his business partner Carlo Gerosa, both Italian nationals, are old India hands. They are partners in Aeromatrix, a Chandigarh-based engineering and IT outsourcing company that is also being investigated for suspected money laundering. Haschke and Gerosa have closely worked with the AgustaWestland team in New Delhi and have, in the past, received contracts worth millions from Finmeccanica for various consultancy services and contracts in India.
A taped conversation between Haschke and Gerosa clearly points to Haschke's knowledge that money was paid off in India and that illegal work was afoot. In the conversation, he worries about explaining his business in India to his wife.