The Enforcement Directorate will begin the process of extraditing Christian Michel, one of the prime accused in the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, The Hindu reported. Michel is reportedly in Dubai. The agency had earlier requested the United Kingdom to extradite the British citizen, but the UK government had asked for several clarifications in the case.
Though he has denied investigators’ reports of being involved in the deal, Michel is believed to have bribed several officials to swing the Rs 3,600-crore helicopter agreement. He currently also has an Interpol red corner notice against him.
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 former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi and 13 others, including his three cousins and the European middlemen involved in the scam.