In taped conversations, middleman talks about his unnamed Indian boss

FP

The alleged middleman in the VVIP helicopter deal with Italy has admitted in taped conversations that he laundered money in India and talks about an unnamed Indian from whom he takes orders.

The consultant, Switzerland-based Guido Haschke, also expressed surprise in his conversations with colleagues that investigators found out the "correct amount" of commission that was allegedly paid for the deal. A conversation also reveals that he had an earlier agreement with AgustaWestland for 5 per cent commission for deals with an unknown Indian associate.

In a preliminary investigation report that runs into 568 pages, Italian investigators have detailed hundreds of hours of taped conversations in which Haschke and his business associates are heard to be speaking about commissions in the helicopter deal and ways that money would be laundered in India.

In some conversations, Haschke and his partner Carlo Gerosa comes tantalisingly close to revealing the name of a person in India from whom they take orders. While the name has been recorded by the investigators, the transcripts of the conversation that are contained in the report list it as "incomprehensible", possibly due to unfamiliarity with Indian names.

Consider this conversation that was recorded in Haschke's car (number TI304420) on March 3.

Gerosa: They just need to say: I take orders (incomprehensible). I take orders from (incomprehensible) there in India, but we can't tell this openly to Gautam (Khaitan, their Indian lawyer).

Haschke: He knows it very well.

G: He is our borderline. The orders of money laundering came from us, but he was doing the real job.We are a real criminal association/conspiracy.

G: (incomprehensible)

H: Yes, I was thinking about it earlier. Because if Gautam fears that Aeromatrix (Haschke's Indian firm) might be involved, he already told me... you heard no? Praveen (Bakshi, the chief officer of Aeromatrix) is already very nervous

... contd.

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