NEW DELHI: Christian Michel, the alleged British middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper case, has gone missing, said reports on Wednesday.
NDTV quoted highly-placed sources as saying that Michel went missing ever since a Dubai court ordered his extradition in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers deal case.
However, in a related development, a source in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) set aside the reports of extradition of the British middleman, saying no formal communication or confirmation has come from the United Arab Emirates in this regard.
It was earlier reported that a Dubai court had ordered for the extradition of Michel in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers deal case.
"As per rules, the final call is always taken by the foreign office of a particular country. In case of UAE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) decides the fate of an accused against whom the court has given an extradition order," the MEA sources said.
"As per the law, the accused has right to appeal. It's a matter of UAE, no formal communication or confirmation has come from UAE," added the source.
As per the law, the accused has right to appeal. It's a matter of UAE, no formal communication or confirmation has come from UAE: MEA sources on Christian Michel. #AugustaWestland
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2018
Michel hit the headlines after his name surfaced in the scam, which took place during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance 2 regime.
Michel is considered to be the key person who mediated payment of bribes to politicians and bureaucrats.
An Interpol red corner notice had already been issued against him.
He reportedly visited India around 100 times since 1993 and had links in the government, including the Defence Ministry and political circles.
He also reportedly played a crucial role in eliminating M/s Sikorsky from the competition and subsequently bagging that contract for the supply of VIP choppers.
(With ANI inputs)