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‘Mohali firm's subsidiary routed Agusta kickbacks’

AgustaWestland had signed a deal with IDS Tunisia allegedly for delivering software

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 18 2016 11:58AM | Updated Date: May 18 2016 11:58AM

‘Mohali firm's subsidiary routed Agusta kickbacks’

 A subsidiary of Mohali-based firm in Tunisia with just one staff  was used to route kickbacks worth around Rs 160 crore to Indian politicians, government officials  and middlemen in the Rs 3,560 crore AgustaWestland chopper scam.

 
According to ‘The Times of India’ report, this has been disclosed in charge sheet which was submitted in a Milan court on April 4.
 
AgustaWestland had signed a deal with IDS Tunisia allegedly, which is a subsidiary of IDS Infotech, for delivering software.
 
Orders were shown as designs of the fuselage of AW129 and AW139 chopper models. One of the contract's conditions was a monthly payment of 510,000 euros or Rs 3.14 crore in 2008 regardless of software orders being billed.
 
As per contract, one Kamoun Hedi was made director of IDS Tunisia. 
 
Italian investigators believe that "Tunisia firm had no other employee" except one Garavagalia Attilio, who worked as Hedi's secretary. 
 
Hedi later told probing agencies that he had nothing to do with IDS Infotech director  Pratap Aggarwal and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan "except rubber-stamping and sending delivery reports on IDS letterhead to AgustaWestland".
 
Investigators also point out that when searches were being conducted on April 23 in 2012,  documents from Hedi showed "he had made payments to the various parties involved".
 
At the time of the contract between IDS and AgustaWestland, ex-coal minister Santosh Bagrodia's Chandigarh-based brother Satish was director in IDS. He left the firm in 2013. Satish's son Ashish and Aggarwal  were directors at the time and have continued in that position.
 
Chargesheet called contract mode "peculiar" and disclosed how two subsidiaries were created out of the Mohali firm, first in Tunisia - IDS Tunisia - and then in Chandigarh - Aeromatrix - in 2009 "to remunerate Indian government officials, politicians and middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlos Gerosa".