Italian national and one of the prime accused in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal corruption case, Carlo Gerosa has recently been arrested by local authorities in Italy. Gerosa’s arrest came on an Interpol notice requested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its money laundering probe in the case. A source close to the ED probe told Indian Express that Gerosa who is touted to be the middleman in the scam was detained a few days back while he was returning from Switzerland based on a Red Corner Notice (RCN). ED will soon move an extradition request to Italy for Gerosa who is reportedly one of the three middlemen wanted in the case.
According to PTI, a joint team of the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating the case, for which Gerosa’s interrogation and statement is said to be crucial. The Interpol also informed that an RCN has been issued to seek location and arrests of people with required lawful action in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore deal.
In its second chargesheet filed in the case last year, ED stated that three middlemen managed to make inroads into the Indian Air Force (IAF) with an aim to influence and subvert its take regarding reducing the service ceiling of helicopters from 6,000 m to 4,500 m in 2005 after which AgustaWestland became eligible to supply the dozen helicopters for VVIP flying duties, reported PTI.
However, IAF scrapped the contract with the subsidiary of Italian defence major Finmeccanica, for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers over the alleged breach of contract and also for being accused of exchanging kickbacks of Rs 423 cr.
Earlier in July 2017, the CBI arrested former IAF chief S P Tyagi and his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi along with businessman Gautam Khaitan for their alleged involvement in the case. The directorate has already filed multiple chargesheets on the deal.