Shadowy Visitors Haunt VVIP Bribe Flight Path
By Yatish Yadav
Published: 12th Jan 2014 07:18:47 AM
It’s a scam that cuts across continents and cities, stages shadowy political players, powerful middlemen and a plethora of loose financial ends. As CBI officials in Milan continue to question middleman Guido Haschke in the `3,600 crore AgustaWestland scam, no Indian scandal has created such a furore since Bofors. Names of Indian politicians are being bandied about in court, and swift denials about any possible involvement of any senior UPA minister were issued from Milan. Piecing together connections between main characters, their travel details and calls made when the deal was put together, the month-long investigation by The Sunday Standard revealed a nexus of government and corporate corruption.
The deal, which was signed on February 8 2010, was exposed in the Italian media two years later. It claimed involvement of 11 persons including AugustaWestland officials, middlemen Haschke and Christian Michel and former air chief S P Tyagi and family. The deal was terminated on January 1, 2014. Strangely, none of the players have been arrested except Haschke, nabbed by Italian police.
THE FEBRUARY CONNECTION: Haschke, who allegedly cornered 21 million euros out of a 51 million deal landed in India along with Orsi Giuseppe, the Chief Executive Officer of AgustaWestland on February 12, 2009. He took Lufthansa Flight 762 from Munich to reach Delhi while Orsi arrived from Paris on Air France Flight 192. Investigators believe that the arrival of the CEO and the middleman was significant.