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Delhi court sends AgustaWestland case co-accused Rajeev Saxena to 4-day ED remand

He was brought in the capital early on Thursday morning after being extradited from the UAE in connection with alleged scam in the Rs 3,600 crore deal for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland company.

Delhi court sends AgustaWestland case co-accused Rajeev Saxena to 4-day ED remand

Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday sent Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena, a co-accused in Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper case to four days of Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand.

Saxena, an accused in the multi-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal scam, was allegedly operating a number of bank accounts in Switzerland in which huge amounts of money were deposited, according to the government dossier, as reported by news agency ANI.

He was brought in the capital early on Thursday morning after being extradited from the UAE in connection with alleged scam in the Rs 3,600 crore deal for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland company.

The banks in which the amounts were allegedly deposited, include Union Bancaire Privee UBP in Zurich, UBS Switzerland, and Credit Suiss AG, says the dossier accessed by the ANI.

The remittances into these accounts came allegedly from Matrix Group Ltd, UHY Saxena and Associates, Tiramisu Holdings Inc and Tanay Holdings Ltd, the document claimed.

Along with Saxena, the UAE also extradited Deepak Talwar, a lobbyist. Regarding the role of Deepak Talwar, the government agencies allege that he had “facilitated dispersal of profit-making routes of India’s state-carrier Air India to private airlines, using his connections with the then Civil Aviation Minister.”

The sources claimed that this has been “corroborated” by payments by private airlines which benefitted from “such illegalities”. The beneficiaries were Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, the sources alleged, adding Talwar “received kick backs of Rs 212 crore” in the accounts in the Bank of Singapore in the name of the company and controlled by him.

Saxena was on Wednesday 'illegally extradited to India' from his UAE residence, claimed his lawyers. Quoting Geeta Luthra and Prateek Yadav, the lawyers of Rajiv Saxena, ANI reported that Saxena was picked up by the UAE state security from his residence on Wednesday at 11 am (IST) (9.30 am UAE time). He was illegally extradited to India around 7 pm (IST) (5.30pm UAE time), his lawyers told ANI. He was boarded into a private jet from a private terminal at the Dubai International Airport.

"Rajiv Saxena was picked up by UAE state security from his residence this morning at 9.30 am (UAE time) and illegally extradited to India around 5.30 pm (UAE time)," ANI reported quoting Luthra and Yadav. 

Saxena's lawyers added that no extradition proceedings were started against their client in the UAE. They alleged that he was not allowed access to his family or lawyers. He was not even given access to essential daily medicines.

"There were no extradition proceedings started in the UAE & he was not allowed access to his family or lawyers or essential daily medicine. He was boarded onto a private jet from a private terminal at Dubai International Airport," added the lawyers.

His lawyers claimed that when they spoke to the UAE state security and demanded to understand what had happened, they were told that he was on a flight and it 'can’t be stopped'. 

To their query further on the issue, they were told to 'ask the Indian Government'.

On December 24, 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed an anticipatory bail plea of Saxena. The ED had informed Delhi's Patiala House Court that it has sent extradition request for Saxena as he hadn't responded to the summons issued against him. The court has already issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him in the AgustaWestland case.

In December 2018, the UAE government had extradited Christian Michel, a British national and alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal scam.

“Saxena is likely to land here at 9.30 pm,” said sources.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in December 2018, in reply against Dubai-based businessman Saxena’s bail plea, had informed the court about the request for his extradition from Dubai as he had failed to join the investigation even after repeated reminders.

On October 6, 2018, a court here had issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Saxena after the ED informed the court that he was not joining the investigation even after repeated summons. Saxena’s name figured in a charge sheet filed against his wife Shivani, currently out on bail after being arrested by the ED.