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AgustaWestland choppers deal middleman Christian Michel extradited to India

The choppers deal middleman, who was led by UAE authorities to India, has reportedly landed in New Delhi.

AgustaWestland choppers deal middleman Christian Michel extradited to India

British national Christian Michel, wanted in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case, was on Tuesday extradited to India. The choppers deal middleman, who was led by UAE authorities to India, has reportedly landed in New Delhi.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the operation to extradite the middleman was conducted under the guidance of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and was coordinated by agency’s in-charge director M Nageswara Rao.

News agency ANI quoted CBI officials as saying that a team led by the central agency’s Joint Director, A Sai Manohar, was sent to Dubai for the purpose of extraditing Christian Michel.

The Court of Cassation last month upheld a lower court order which said that Michel could be extradited.

Michel, 54, was taken to the Dubai International Airport from where he had left for India earlier on Tuesday.

India officially made the request to the UAE in 2017 for his extradition, based on the criminal investigations conducted in the case by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED, in its chargesheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received Euro 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.

The money was nothing but "kickbacks" paid by the firm to execute the 12 helicopter deal in favour of the firm in "guise of" genuine transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country, according to the chargesheet.

Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and the CBI. Both the agencies have notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against him after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

The ED investigation found that remittances made by Michel through his Dubai-based firm Global Services to a media firm he floated in Delhi, along with two Indians, were made from the funds which he got from AgustaWestland through "criminal activity" and corruption being done in the chopper deal that led to the subsequent generation of proceeds of crime.

(With PTI Inputs)