VVIP chopper deal: ED may register criminal case of money laundering

AgustaWestland

With the government ordering a CBI probe, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may also register a criminal case of money laundering to probe allegations of kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal from an Italian defence and aerospace firm.

The agency has already been conducting a probe since last year for alleged violation of forex laws in the country in the conduct of this deal.

Sources said the ED will take a call to register a case under the stringent clauses of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) once the CBI files an FIR and also will take in account its ongoing investigation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The agency has also gathered some inputs regarding the transactions done to procure 12 VVIP service helicopters produced by Finmeccanica's subsidiary AgustaWestland in 2010.

The case came to the fore again yesterday after the head of a state-controlled Italian aerospace company that is suspected of paying bribes of about Rs 362 crore in India to get orders for helicopters to ferry Indian VVIPs was arrested, prompting the government to order a CBI probe.

The ED, sources said, has also approached their foreign counterparts in Italy for official records but the agency is still to get the desired help.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.