VVIP chopper scam: CBI tracks two suspicious fund transfers to former IAF chief SP Tyagi
The Enforcement Directorate has gone through CCTV footage and the visitors' book of the five-star hotel where Christian Michel mostly stayed in Delhi.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has found two "suspicious" payments to the accounts held by former Indian Air Force Chief SP Tyagi in 2009, reported The Times of India. The agency has also learnt that Tyagi is owner/shareholder in at least five different companies. He retired from his post in 2007.
"The statement given by SP Tyagi in 2013 to us is being matched with the facts highlighted in the judgment and there are many discrepancies in what he told us then and now," a senior CBI officer told The Times of India. Tyagi, along with his cousins and AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel, is one of main accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is also investigating the case, said it has gone through CCTV footage and the visitors' book of a five-star hotel in Delhi where one of middlemen in the deal Michel often stayed during his visits to India. According to the English daily, the British businessman has made at least 100 trips to the country since 1993.
The investigating agency is trying to track his movements in the city. Michel's local driver is helping investigators identify his acquaintances and meeting places in the Capital. A farmhouse in South Delhi has come up during the investigation, among other places.
The ED officers have reasons to believe that at least 170 fake companies were formed in various countries to send the money to India. Three companies linked to Michel are being investigated in this regard. Letter rogatories have been sent to 11 countries, including Singapore, Italy, Tunisia, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates. The agency also plans to send a team to Singapore soon to track the money trail.
The AgustaWestland helicopter deal, which has snowballed into a huge controversy, relates to an agreement in 2010, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was to buy 12 helicopters from the British-Italian firm for around Rs 3,600 crore. The deal was put on hold after Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica on charges that the company paid bribes to win the contract. CBI had registered a case against SP Tyagi and 13 others, including his three cousins and the European middlemen involved in the scam.