A joint team consisting of senior Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and defence ministry officers would leave for Italy by Monday to seek details on bribes allegedly paid by AgustaWestland to bag a deal for 12 choppers for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of Rs 3,600 crore.
The joint team would meet Italian prosecutors and law enforcement agency officers to get details regarding the deal. The CBI team would consist of two members including a officer of the rank of DIG, CBI sources said. While the Ministry of Defence has deputed a senior joint secretary, a statement from the defence ministry said officers would try to gather as much evidence as possible relating to the allegations of corruption in the acquisition of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force. A K Bal, the officer deputed to go to Italy, would leave for Rome by Monday.
On Wednesday, the defence ministry referred to CBI the AgustaWestland chopper purchase deal. The CBI was given press clippings of Indian and Italian newspapers which contained reports of Italian law enforcement agencies prosecuting individuals for paying bribes.