New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday rejected media reports that one of its retired pilots was under investigation by Italian anti-corruption authorities into a USD 800-million deal with AgustaWestland for 12 VVIP helicopters for India.
"As per the records held with the IAF, there is no ex-IAF officer/pilot by the name of Sanjeev Kumar Tyagi as has been mentioned by a media report," IAF public relations officer Squadron Leader Priya Joshi said in a clarification issued here.
The reports had suggested that three Indians were among the 15 people that Italian police were probing in connection with suspected payment of bribes and money-laundering in the deal for the VVIP helicopters signed in 2010.
The reports had said that among the three Indians was Sanjeev Kumar Tyagi, a Delhi businessman and former IAF pilot.
AgustaWestland is a subsidiary of the Italian defence major Finmeccanica.
Following the media reports on the deal, Defence Minister AK Antony has ordered a probe into the matter and asked officials to obtain details of the probe into the VVIP chopper deal from the Italian authorities.
The Indian defence ministry has also assured of strictest action in case irregularities were found in the VVIP chopper deal.