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AgustaWestland case: ED arrests Rajiv Saxena, lobbyist Deepak Talwar

A co-accused and alleged middleman in this case, British national Christian James Michel was recently extradited from Dubai to India (in December last year)

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena, co-accused in AgustaWestland case

In a major boost to agencies probing high-profile corruption cases, a wanted in the VVIP choppers case and a have been deported to India, officials said Thursday.

They said wanted in Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers money laundering case and Deepak Talwar wanted by the ED and the in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the foreign funding route, were brought in a special plane to around 1:30 AM.

The two have been arrested by the ED.

The agency has taken their custody and they will be produced before a court here later in the day, the officials said.

Both of them were picked by authorities on Wednesday "in assistance" to a request made by Indian agencies, they added.

A co-accused and alleged middleman in this case, British was recently extradited from to India (in December last year). He is currently in judicial custody.

Saxena's lawyers alleged that no extradition proceedings were started against him in the UAE and he was not allowed to access his family or lawyers while being sent to India.

Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading company. His role in some aviation deals during the UPA government's regime is under scanner.

Talwar has been booked by the ED and the in criminal cases of corruption, even as the has charged him with tax evasion.

The ED had summoned Rajiv Saxena, a resident of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife from the in July 2017. She is now out on bail.

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The ED had alleged that Rajiv, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms-- Ms UHY Saxena, and Ms Matrix Holdings -- routed"the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others".

The ED had said that its probe found that "Agusta Westland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, and IDS Sarl,

"These companies further siphoned off the said money/ proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and others which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai and Dubai and others," the ED had charged.

The ED had said Rajiv is "beneficial owner" of and both his companies received proceeds of crime in their respective accounts from this firm.

It had said the couple have remitted/ transferred a "huge amount of money" through their Dubai-based companies to various other accounts.

The ED had named Rajiv Saxena in its charge sheet filed in this case and had got issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over an alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

First Published: Thu, January 31 2019. 09:00 IST