Business Standard

AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel being extradited to India

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Christian Michel James, a British national and a middleman, has been extradited to by the United Arab Emirates, a development that comes as a boost to Indian agencies investigating the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal case.

"Wanted fugitive criminal who has been avoiding criminal proceedings in in case is being extradited by UAE Authorities to Under the guidance of Ajit Doval, (NSA), the entire operation is being coordinated by interim CBI M. Nageswara Rao," CBI said in a presse note.

A team led by has been to for the purpose, said the note.

sources said he had been taken to the International Airport for a flight to

They indicated that James will land at the late in the night.

The action comes after the in UAE had in November upheld a lower court order which said that James,57, could be extradited to India.

According to the report, James was kept under detention at the Police's (CID) as per the Indian government's request. The extradition is undertaken in coordination with the and CID.

James is one of three middlemen being probed in the case by the (CBI) and the (ED) in connection with the scam.

In January, the ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities for extraditing James. Both the ED and CBI had filed chargesheets in bribery cases in Indian courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued against the accused.

Last year, a Red Corner notice was issued against James by the on a request by CBI. RCNs were also issued against two Italians involved in the scam -- and

According to Indian investigative agencies, James had received at least Rs 235 crore for ensuring that the chopper contract went to He was a frequent visitor to India, having undertaken 300 trips to this country between 1997 and 2013.

The ED officials earlier had said that bribes to James were paid through a web of companies located abroad and in India on the pretext of payment for consultancy work. James also used his Dubai-based firm as a conduit for money.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had named former S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF and as the four Indians involved in the scam.

The chargesheet mentioned Khaitan as the "brain" behind the deal.

The others named in the chargesheet included Giuseppe Orsi, the former of Italian defence and Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former of AgustaWestland, apart from middlemen Michel, Haschke and Gerosa.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled 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 on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI, which registered an FIR in the case on March 12, 2013, had alleged that Tyagi and the other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help it win the contract.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 22:58 IST