Something happened somewhere in chopper deal, says Antony

Suggesting some wrongdoing had happened in the VVIP chopper procurement, Defence Minister A K Antony today said "something happened somewhere" in the Rs 3,600 crore deal for 12 helicopters.

"We have followed all the procedures. In spite of taking all precautions by all of us including the ministry, IAF, SPG. In spite of that one thing is clear that something happened somewhere," he told a press conference here.

The Minister was commenting on the developments in the government probe in the alleged chopper scam in which 51 million Euros were allegedly paid to swing the deal in favour of Finmeccanica.

The Minister said the government had initiated action against the Italian firm after the arrest of its CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini by Italian investigators.

The Ministry has initiated the process to scrap the deal for the Anglo-Italian AW-101 choppers, three of which have already arrived here for the purpose of ferrying VVIPs.

The deal was signed in 2010 and the government has already paid around Rs 1,200 crore of the Rs 3,600 crore for the 12 choppers but has put on hold any further payment.

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