CBI to quiz Tyagi's cousins again in VVIP chopper scam

CBI to quiz Tyagi's cousins again in VVIP chopper scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to question cousins of former IAF chief S P Tyagi again in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal and confront them with details provided by the middleman Guido Haschke.

During interrogation by the Defence Ministry and CBI officials in Italy, Haschke had told them that money was given to Tyagi’s cousins to swing the multi-crore deal in their favour. He claimed the money was paid for engineering works and meeting other administrative requirements in India. 

Officials said questioning the Tyagi brothers was important to establish how the money was used by them. 

A case was registered by the CBI against Tyagi and 12 others, including his cousins Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep, on the charges of cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal in which Rs 360 crore was alleged to have been paid as bribe. The Tyagis have denied their involvement. 

Haschke was held in Switzerland in September and extradited to Italy to face trial. He denied he had ever met the former IAF chief or handed over any money to him.  

The CBI FIR had claimed that Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, another middleman, managed to send 5.6 million euros through Mohali-based IDS Infotech and Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Ltd to India and kept the remaining amount of about 24.30 million euros received from AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia. The Defence Ministry cancelled the deal with AgustaWestland to provide 12 VVIP choppers meant for the president, prime minister and other dignitaries.

The CAG in its report in August said that the Defence Ministry had set the benchmark price at an “unreasonably high” Rs 4,877 crore, while the manufacturer had quoted Rs 911.5 crore less. 

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