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Chopper deal: Court extends Gautam Khaitan's custody

A court here Friday extended till Nov 28 the judicial custody of businessman Gautam Khaitan arrested in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal.



New Delhi: A court here Friday extended till Nov 28 the judicial custody of businessman Gautam Khaitan arrested in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal.

Special judge VK Gupta sent Khaitan to 14 days` judicial custody after he was presented before the court on expiry of his earlier remand.

Khaitan, who was on the board of the Chandigarh-based company Aeromatrix, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate a day after the agency conducted a search of his premises Sep 22.

The supply of 12 helicopters from British firm AgustaWestland came under scrutiny after Italian authorities alleged that the company paid a bribe to clinch the deal with India, inked in February 2010.

India on January 1, terminated the Rs.3,600 crore (about $770 million) deal with AgustaWestland for the purchase of the choppers following allegations of kickbacks having been paid to fix the deal.

India had paid around 45 percent of the total contract value for the choppers meant to ferry the president, the prime minister and other VIPs.

The Enforcement Directorate registered a case in this deal in July 2013 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and booked former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, and foreign nationals Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke in its criminal complaint.

Companies like AgustaWestland, its parent company Italy-based Finmeccanica, Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix as well as two companies based in Mauritius and Tunisia, and a few other firms and unidentified people were also named.

The Enforcement Directorate named 21 entities in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation lodged a separate case in March 2013 against Tyagi and others in connection with the kickback allegations.

 

 

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