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Choppers deal: Agusta Westland claims it is clean

Last Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 21:03

New Delhi: Facing a probe in Italy over allegations of paying bribes to secure contracts in countries including India, Agusta Westland on Friday said it has "not committed" any form of irregularity in the tender for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to Indian Air Force.

The deal signed in 2010 is under the scanner after the arrest of few individuals in Italy for allegedly paying kickbacks and the Defence Ministry has already got in touch Italian authorities to get details of the probe there.

"Agusta Westland has not committed any form of irregularity during the tender for the supplying AW101 helicopters to the Indian Defence Ministry," Agusta Westland-- a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, said in a statement here.

It said the Indian contract was awarded to it "following a comprehensive technical and flight evaluation of competing types performed by the IAF in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedures".

However, Agusta Westland was silent over charges that a Brigadier had sought a USD five million bribe form it for facilitating its victory in the deal for procuring 197 choppers for the Army and IAF.

American Sikorsky and Italian Agusta Westland were in race for the contract but only the latter could qualify the technical evaluations and the US firm`s bid was also not opened.

The deal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security despite objections raised by the Finance Ministry over the price issues.

The deal was given a go ahead by the Government after the Special Protection Group and the Air Force advised to do so in view of the security situation in the country.


First Published: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 21:03
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