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ED Arrests AgustaWestland Scam Alleged Rajiv Saxena, Lobbyist Deepak Talwar From Dubai

HARSH RANJAN | 1
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| January 31 , 2019 , 17:39 IST

Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, the co-accused in 3,600-crore rupee AgustaWestland chopper deal case, and corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar have been extradited to India from the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, sources said.

The extradition comes as a boost to the Indian agencies investigating corruption in two separate cases involving Saxena and Talwar

Officials said in the first case, Rajiv Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, was picked up by Dubai authorities early on Wednesday in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers money laundering case.

He is expected to be handed over to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing his role under money laundering charges.

Saxena, who is also an accountant, is being deported by Dubai authorities on the basis of a non-bailable warrant issued by a court on the request of the ED, they said.

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 missile manufacturing company. His role in some aviation deals during the UPA government's regime is under the scanner.

Former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram said, "accused Rajiv Saxena & corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar extradited to India from UAE: It is when government becomes the prosecutor, judge & jury, they can claim anything. Let them file the case & punish whoever is guilty."

Talwar has been booked by the ED and the CBI in criminal cases of corruption, even as the Income Tax Department 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 Shivani Saxena from the Chennai airport in July 2017. She is now out on bail.

The ED had alleged that Rajiv Saxena, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms -- Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai 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, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia.

"These companies further syphoned 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 Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others," the ED had charged.

ALSO READ: AgustaWestland Scam: Delhi High Court Grants Consular Access To Christian Michel

The ED had said Rajiv Saxena is "beneficial owner" of Interstellar Technologies Ltd and both his companies received proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank 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.

Rajiv Saxena will be presented before Delhi High Court today.

Earlier, Delhi High Court granted the permission to British High Commission in India for consular access to Christian Michel, who was brought to Delhi from the United Arab Emirates on December 4.

The British High Commission said in a statement “Our staff are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare.”

The court had earlier imposed restrictions on Michel meeting his lawyers while he was in ED custody after the agency had said he was misusing legal access by passing chits to the advocates.