By Anand Singh
New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Former Emaar MGF Land Limited Managing Director Shravan Gupta has laundered the money generated from the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case into bank accounts of his four shell companies located in several tax havens, sources in the Enforcement Directorate said.
Gupta, against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued by Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court in August, informed the court that he would not be able to travel to India to join the probe as he has “diabetes, high cholesterol and impaired breathing issues”.
The businessman, who is residing in England, in his submission to the court on September 24 said that “he has diabetes, high cholesterol and impaired breathing” as the reasons for his inability to return to India.
He also cited the Covid-19 pandemic situation making him unfit to travel.
The ED source further said that the agency has summoned Gupta on number of occasions: in November 2019 as well as in February, July and August this year.
“But citing ill-health he has not joined the investigation after leaving India in November 2019, a week after submitting his medical application with the financial probe agency,” the source added.
The ED source said the money laundered in the VVIP chopper case was routed through shell companies controlled by Gupta and he had also appointed middleman Guido Haschke as non-executive Director in Emaar MGF Land Limited.
The source said that the AgustaWestland International Limited, UK, engaged middlemen Haschke and Carlo Gerosa along with consultant Christian James Michel to influence the contract for 12 VVIP choppers with India.
Haschke and Gerosa received commissions through their companies — Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia to the tune of Euro 4,00,000 and IDS Information Technology and Engineering SARL, Tunisia to the tune of Euro 24,377,020.
The source said that the funds received by IDS Tunisia worth Euro 12.4 million were transferred into the accounts of Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius, which was one of the main front companies to park the laundered money.
The source further said that the funds received in the Interstellar Technologies were transferred into the accounts of the companies under the control of Gupta.
The ED source further said it got the details of the payments to Interstellar Technologies through Letter Rogatory sent to Mauritius.
“During investigation it was revealed that part of the laundered money was transferred to several companies owned by Gupta,” the source said.
The source said that Gupta used Natille Overseas Inc, Panama, Timekeeper Limited, BVI, Mayfair Trust Management SA and Hall Park Property Holdings Ltd.
The source pointed out that Gupta has been in receipt of the amount received in the bank accounts of these companies.
The source further revealed that Haschke was the non-executive Director of Emaar MGF Land Limited from September 25, 2009 to December 7, 2009.
The source said that Haschke resigned from the post in Emaar MGF Land Limited on December 7, 2009.
The development comes almost three months after the ED carried out raids at seven locations linked to Gupta in the VVIP chopper case in Delhi and Gurugram.
Following the raids at the premises of Gupta, the Emaar Group in a statement had said that it has parted ways with MGF a few years back and he has no role with it.
The case pertains to the buying of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore for ferrying VVIPs. In the deal, bribes were allegedly paid to middlemen and others. The purchase was cleared in 2010 by the then UPA government.
British national Michel was arrested by the investigative agencies on December 4, 2018 and he was extradited to India from Dubai. He has been in judicial custody since January 5, 2019.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])