The Enforcement Directorate today told a special court that a woman director of two Dubai-based firms, accused in a money laundering case connected with the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, might not return to face trial if granted permission to go abroad. The agency told special judge Arvind Kumar that Shivani Saxena, an active director of Dubai-based M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings, should not be granted the relief as there were high chances of further diversion of the funds. The court will pronounce its order on the application tomorrow. Special piblic prosecutor N K Matta also said that Shivani's husband Rajeev Saxena was evading the probe and a non-bailable warrant has already been issued against him. The ED had on September 13 last year filed a charge sheet against Shivani and others.
The final report had also named Rajeev Saxena though he is not yet arrayed as an accused. In her application, Shivani Saxena submitted that she needed to go to Dubai on January 14 to 29 for business purposes. She was arrested by the ED on July 17 from Chennai in Tamil Nadu last year and 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 nod. Shivani 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. The agency 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. It 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.
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