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VVIP chopper scam: ED freezes shares worth ₹86 crore

By Newsd
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the ₹360 crore AgustaWestland scam on Monday froze shares owned by companies in Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore to the tune of ₹86 crore. The agency alleged the assets were procured through kickbacks received by two middlemen in the purchase of helicopters from Itay.

The agency also raided 10 firms in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the case and seized a number of documents during the searches from various premises of related firms and entities.

With fresh inputs emerging after the raids on June 15, the ED issued orders to freeze shares of certain firms located in Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore. The searches were conducted after investigators learnt that around 28 million Euros was paid by AgustaWestland to middlemen Guido Haschke  and Carlo Gerosa  through IDS Tunisia.

ED in a statement said that during the course of probe in the case, an amount of 28 million Euro (₹214 crore approx) was paid to Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, the two alleged middlemen in the deal, through a Tunisa-based company.

Following this, the ED conducted searches at 10 locations of the Indian companies in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and “unearthed evidence of transfer of funds from above companies connected with M/s Intersstellar, Mauritius to these companies in India”.

The ED had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people, including former IAF chief S P Tyagi, in its FIR. It had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan, who is now out on bail.