The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday before a Delhi court filed a supplementary chargesheet against an alleged defence agent in a money laundering case relating to the AgustaWestland scam, PTI reported. The agency filed the chargesheet before Special Judge Arvind Kumar against Sushen Mohan Gupta, who was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Gupta’s alleged involvement was noticed through disclosures made by Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena, the Enforcement Directorate said. After facing deportation from the United Arab Emirates and subsequent arrest in New Delhi, Saxena turned into an approver in the case.
The agency suspects that Gupta possesses details of payments made in the over Rs 3,500-crore deal that were used to purchase the AgustaWestland helicopters.
On April 4, the Enforcement Directorate told a Delhi court that defence officials, bureaucrats, mediapersons, and certain political leaders of the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government had received bribes in the AgustaWestland deal. The investigating agency also said that Christian Michel, another alleged middleman arrested in the case had used “AP” to refer to Congress leader Ahmed Patel and “Fam” for family. However, Patel has not been named in the first information report filed in the case.
In 2010, the UPA government had signed an agreement with AgustaWestland to buy 12 helicopters for the Indian Air Force to transport VVIPs. However, the deal was put on hold after Italian authorities arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, for bribing Indian officials to get the deal.
Michel has been accused of lobbying for the UK-based firm AgustaWestland and its parent company Italian major Finmeccanica for the deal. Michel was extradited to India in January and is now in Tihar Jail.
The CBI began its investigation into the case in 2013. There are 41 accused in the case. In its chargesheet, the ED listed out a series of dispatches between February 2008 and October 2009 by Michel.