VVIP chopper: ED opposes woman director's bail plea

VVIP chopper: ED opposes woman director's bail plea

The Enforcement Directorate today opposed the bail plea of a woman director of two Dubai-based firms before a city court in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.

The probe agency told the Special Judge Arvind Kumar that the accused -- Shivani Saxena, an "active" director of Dubai- based Ms UHY Saxena and Ms Matrix Holdings -- may flee from the justice and hamper the ongoing probe, if she was granted the relief.

It told the court that other accused, including Shivani's husband Rajiv, were yet to be apprehended and it was not a fit stage to grant her bail.
The court then reserved its order on the bail application for October 16.

During the arguments, ED's advocate N K Matta also claimed in the court that Shivani was not cooperating and the probe was at an initial stage.
In her bail application, the accused has claimed that she was not required in the case because investigation was already complete since the charge sheet has already been filed.

The ED had on September 13 filed the charge sheet against her and others.

Shivani Saxena and her husband Rajiv are residents of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, an archipelago which is home to the most expensive properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the charge sheet said.

It alleged that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares, among others" in this case.

The agency claimed that its probe had found that AgustaWestland, United Kingdom, had "paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks" through two Tunisia-based firms.

"These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others," the charge sheet had alleged.

The ED had also arrested in this case Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan who is currently out on bail. It had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people in its money laundering FIR.

On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.

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