Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Indian police search Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland offices


New Delhi, March 13 - Indian criminal investigators
searched the New Delhi offices of Finmeccanica and its
subsidiary AgustaWestland on Wednesday in a probe over alleged
bribes paid in the sale of 12 AW-101 helicopters to the Indian
air force.
Sources close to the Italian State-controlled defense
contractor group told ANSA that the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) "arrived around 6:00 am (local time) and
spent a number of hours in the offices".
The CBI anti-corruption police have also questioned former
Indian air force chief of staff Sashindra Pal Tyagi and the
ex-officer's cousins Julie and Docsa Tyagi about their alleged
contacts with European middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido
Italian investigators have accused Gerosa and Haschkhe of
paying bribes to swing the deal for the 12 choppers in favor of
The ex-officer and his relatives have denied any wrongdoing.
On March 6, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony told the
Senate the contract with Agusta Westland is on hold pending
results of the current investigation.
"No decision has been made on whether to blacklist the
company", the minister told MPs.
The CBI also recently questioned managers at the Indian
branches of Aeromatrix and IDS Infotech, which prosecutors
believe acted as intermediaries by issuing false engineering
contracts and routing bribes through the Mauritius Islands and
Tunisia, sources close to the investigation said.
India's Senate agreed at the end of February to establish a
parliamentary commission to investigate a scandal-plagued
helicopter contract with AgustaWestland, while Antony threatened
to severely punish those responsible for alleged corruption in
the $750 million US contract.
Opposition politicians in India's Senate accused the
government of using the commission to delay dealing with the
In response, Antony said he would "black-list" any
companies violating anti-corruption laws.
"No one will be spared," he said.
In February, an Italian probe into the allegations led to
the arrest and resignation of Finmeccanica ex-CEO Giuseppe Orsi.
India has already taken the initial steps to cancel the
helicopter contract.
It froze payments on the units, two of which have been
delivered and one on the way, pending the results of the
corruption probe.
India's defence ministry also said it had asked
Finmeccanica's new CEO, Alessandro Pansa, for any information he
might be able to provide on suspected bribes.
Finmeccanica is Italy's biggest defence contractor and a
major world player, employing some 70,000 people.

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