New Delhi: Armed with documents from Italy, CBI on Sunday named former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi in its preliminary enquiry into allegations of kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, the second former defence services chief to figure in a scam probe.
Besides the former IAF chief, 10 others including his cousins--Julie, Docsa and Sandeep Tyagi have also been named along with four companies in the PE, CBI sources said here.
CBI has registered the PE to probe allegations that some "middlemen have influenced the deal in favour" of the Italian company AgustaWestland for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP/VIP helicopters.
It is also learnt that parent company Finmeccanica paid a commission of seven million Euros (about Rs 50 crore) to the middlemen out of which huge sums were transferred to seven Indian nationals through Tunisia and Mauritius, the PE said. 
The money was sent in the garb of engineering contracts with two Indian companies -- IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, it said.

Noose Tightens On Former IAF Chief SP Tyagi
  • IAF had sought AgustaWestland choppers for its elite Communication Squadron
  • The contract for the helicopters was signed in February 2010
  • First helicopter was delivered in December 2010
  • The size of the helicopter deal was valued Rs 3600 crore
  • Rs 362 crore were allegedly paid as kickbacks to ensure AgustaWestland won the contract
  • Finmeccanica's (manufacturer of AgustaWestland) chief Giuseppe Orsi arrested on 12th February, 2013
  • Italian investigating agency claimed former IAF Chief received kickbacks for VVIP chopper deal
  • Indian government orders CBI probe after arrest of Finmeccanica's chief  on 12th February, 2013
  • CBI on 25th February, 2013 names former IAF Chief SP Tyagi in its preliminary enquiry

This is the second instance when a former services chief figures in a CBI inquiry. Former Admiral Sushil Kumar was named in a CBI case to probe alleged kickbacks in the purchase of Barak missiles in early 2000.
The sources said suspected European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschkhe, advocate Gautam Khaitan formerly associated with Aeromatrix and its CEO Praveen Bakshi, former Finmeccanica Chairman Giuseppe Orsi, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini have also been named.
Besides Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix also figure in the PE, they said.
The team of CBI officials, which returned from Italy with some documents from Finmeccanica and public prosecutor, found enough material in them to start its probe in the alleged payoffs of Rs 362 crore in the helicopter deal, they said.
All the suspects named by the CBI in its PE have denied allegations of receiving or giving kickbacks in the deal.
The sources said the they are likely to be called for questioning in connection with the case. Orsi, former chairman of the Finmeccanica, was arrested by Italian agencies on February 15 on charges of paying bribe for the contract.
The investigation report by Italian prosecutor had claimed that Hashchke and Gerosa, through the Tyagi brothers and their cousin S P Tyagi, managed first to change the tender details bringing the 'operational ceiling' from 18,000 to
15,000 feet of altitude, thus allowing AgustaWestland (which otherwise could not have even submitted an offer) to take part in the process.
The report also claimed that the duo managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine, thus swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland, the only one providing three engine helicopters.
It alleged payments were made to Hashchke and Gerosa through a consultancy contract between AW and Gordian Services Sarl and an amount of 400,000 Euros (about Rs 2.8 crore). Out of this amount 100,000 Euros (Rs 72 lakh) were paid in cash to the Tyagi brothers (Julie, Docsa and Sandeep).


Latest News from India News Desk