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VVIP chopper deal: CBI gets partial responses to its LRs

New Delhi: CBI has received partial responses to the Letters Rogatory it sent to six countries for establishing the money trail in the Rs 3767-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.

CBI Director Rakesh Asthana
CBI Director Rakesh Asthana.

CBI sources said the agency has received partial responses from Mauritius, Tunisia, Italy, British Virgin Island, the UK and Switzerland.

However, responses on its request from Singapore and the UAE were still awaited and both the countries have been approached through diplomatic channels for expediting the Letters Rogatory sent in the case, the sources said.

As part of its investigations, the agency is focussing on the money trail of suspected kickbacks of over 50 million Euros (about Rs 369 crore at present exchange rates) believed to have been moved across eight countries.

The case is being probed by specially constituted a SIT headed by Additional Director Rakesh Asthana, who is at present in-charge of the CBI.

Last week, the CBI arrested former IAF chief S P Tyagi, his cousin Sajeev Tyagi and lawyer-businessman Gautam Khaitan regarding a case registered against 14 people including European middlemen in connection with alleged bribery in the 2010 deal of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters for VVIPs.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft)which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

Tyagi has denied allegations against him claiming innocence and that the change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG, NSA and other departments were involved.



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