AgustaWestland case: ED to file another charge sheet

The Enforcement Directorate is all set to file another charge sheet in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case following the questioning of alleged middleman Christian Michel, who was extradited from the United Arab Emirates in December last year.

Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the charge sheet against the accused person has to be furnished within 60 days of his arrest.

Accordingly, the agency will inform the court about its findings, including the financial trail involving Mr. Michel’s companies. Details of suspect transactions with some domestic entities may also be shared. A businessman has already been questioned in this regard.

Soon after Mr. Michel’s extradition, the Directorate had also got the custody of another accused, Rajiv Saxena, after his deportation from the UAE.

The Directorate alleges that the kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal were routed through Mr. Saxena’s Dubai-based firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Limited. It has also tracked down about 4.6 crore dollars that were deposited in the Swiss accounts of Matrix Group Limited, Artistics Holdings Limited, UHY Saxena and Associates, Tiramisu Holdings, Atrium Holdings Limited and Tanay Holdings Limited.

As alleged, these companies were controlled and managed by Mr. Saxena, his relatives and associates. The firms used in the routing of kickbacks were floated by him allegedly at the instance of co-accused Gautam Khaitan.

Now that Mr. Saxena has offered to become an approver in the case and is to get his confessional statement recorded before a magistrate on Wednesday, the agency believes that it will have sufficient corroborative evidence to zero in on several beneficiaries in the deal.

According to the ED, AgustaWestland had paid the kickbacks through Tunisia-based Gordian Services Sarl and IDS Sarl.

“These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd., Mauritius, and others. The funds were further transferred to Dubai-based UHY Saxena, Matrix Holdings Ltd. and others,” the agency had earlier alleged. Mr. Saxena was a beneficial owner of Interstellar Technologies Limited (Mauritius).

In July 2017, the Directorate had arrested Mr. Saxena’s wife Shivani as she was also a director of UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Limited.


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