VVIP chopper deal: ED summons ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi's cousin

Enforcement Directorate has issued summons for appearance to Sanjeev Tyagi, cousin of former IAF chief SP Tyagi, in connection with its money laundering probe into the Rs 3,600 crore AgustWestland VVIP helicopter deal.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 13, 2014, 23:13 PM IST

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate has issued summons for appearance to Sanjeev Tyagi, cousin of former IAF chief SP Tyagi, in connection with its money laundering probe into the Rs 3,600 crore AgustWestland VVIP helicopter deal.

Officials said Sanjeev has been summoned under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and agency sleuths are expected to record his statement when he appears before them.

He is also expected to be confronted with some documents seized or obtained by the agency during the probe.

"Yes, I have been summoned. But I fail to understand why an innocent person like me is being dragged into this case even when an Italian court recently said there was nothing wrong in the helicopter deal. I have done nothing wrong," Tyagi told PTI.

An alleged middleman involved in this case -- Guido Haschke -- had claimed that he made payments to Sanjeev alias Julie and other cousins of ex-IAF chief Tyagi to crack the deal of selling AgustaWestland choppers to India.

Sanjeev said he has already handed over relevant documents of this case to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the last payment he got was in 2005 while the tenders for the procurement of 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs in the country was made in 2007 while the orders were placed in 2010.

"Going by this, I fail to understand how I earned illegal money?," he said.

Agencies probing the case have earlier said that Haschke, who was questioned first by Defence Ministry officials and then by CBI, had told CBI that money was paid to Tyagi brothers for rendering engineering works and meeting other administrative requirements in India.

Arrested in Switzerland in September last year and later extradited to Italy to face trial, Haschke has denied that he had ever met the former IAF Chief or handed over any money to him to clear the VVIP helicopter deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

The ED is probing the case under the criminal provisions of PMLA and it has so far arrested businessman and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in this case.

The agency is in the pursuit to track Rs 400 crore of alleged bribe money which was purportedly paid as kickbacks for finalising the deal with the said company and later laundering these illicit funds.