The CBI is likely to register a preliminary enquiry (PE) to look if the UK-based helicopter supplier AgustaWestland had paid alleged kickbacks to a senior Army officer to swing the deal for supplying Light Utility Helicopters to the Army in its favour.
The Army had plans to procure as many as 197 light utility helicopters but the deal was stalled after the allegations of corruption came to the fore.
The CBI is now probing whether the senior Army officer had assured AgustaWestland to swing the contract for supplying 197 light utility helicopters to the Army in its favour for a consideration of $5 million.
The move comes after Italian investigating agencies, which were probing AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica in connection with the corruption in the VVIP chopper deal, gave inputs to the Union Defence Ministry that a senior Army officer had demanded bribe from AgustaWestland for swinging the chopper deal in its favour. The ministry had passed on the information to the CBI, to look into the matter. Currently, the agency is probing AgustaWestland’s role in the alleged payment of bribes amounting to `362 crore to bag the deal for supplying 12 VVIP helicopters to the Air Force.