ALSO READGold worth Rs 16 lakh seized from passenger at Tiruchi airport Dubai-based private equity business launches $250 million healthcare fund Rs 32 lakh worth gold bars seized from passenger at airport VVIP chopper case: ED chargsheets Dubai-based Director, others VVIP chopper case: Court takes cognisance of ED charge sheet
A special court today sought the Enforcement Directorate's reply by tomorrow on a plea of a woman director of two Dubai-based firms, accused in a money laundering case connected with the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, seeking permission to go abroad. In her application before Special Judge Arvind Kumar, Shivani Saxena, an active director of Dubai-based M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings, submitted she needed to go to Dubai on January 15 for business purposes. Saxena was arrested by the ED on July 17 from Chennai in Tamil Nadu last year and later she was granted bail by Delhi high court on December 15, 2017 with various conditions, including that she will not leave the country without the court's prior permission. The ED had on September 13 last year filed a charge sheet against her and others. The final report had also named her husband, against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued for non-cooperation in the probe, but he has not been arrayed as an accused so far. Shivani Saxena and her husband Rajiv are residents of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, an archipelago which is home to most expensive properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ED's special public prosecutor N K Matta had told the court. He alleged that the two Dubai firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares, among others" in this case. The agency claimed that its probe had found that AgustaWestland, United Kingdom, had "paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks" through two Tunisia-based firms. "These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others," the ED had alleged. The agency had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan who is currently out on bail.
It had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people in its money laundering FIR. On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.