VVIP chopper scam: ED attaches accused Shravan Gupta’s properties worth over Rs 16 cr

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The Delhi zonal office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs 16.57 crore belonging to Shravan Gupta, one of the accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

“The properties attached are in the form of land/farmhouse(s) located in a posh area of Delhi. ED had earlier attached properties amounting to Rs. 4.05 crore belonging to accused Shravan Gupta and his wife vide a Provisional Attachment Order in the year 2022,” said a senior ED official.

According to the ED, Gupta received the proceeds of crime in the companies namely Natille Overseas Inc, Switzerland; Timekeeper Ltd, British Virgin Islands, Hall Park Holdings Limited, United Kingdom. which are owned by him.

“The proceeds of crime were received from a shell company based out of Mauritius which had received the kickbacks in the defence deal from Agusta Spa, Italy. ED had also filed a Prosecution Complaint dated February 10, 2022, against Gupta,” said the official.

Presently, extradition proceedings against Gupta are underway as he had fled the country in November 2019.

The financial probe agency had initiated an investigation based on a FIR registered by the CBI under various sections of the IPC, 1860 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

The ED investigation revealed that kickbacks amounting to Euro 70 million were paid by AgustaWestland for influencing the deal for the supply of 12 VVIP choppers in its favour and for the subsequent payment of bribes to the officials of the Indian Air Force, bureaucrats and PEPs through a complex web of transactions.

The integrity pact in the tender documents for the procurement of the VVIP helicopters forbade engaging any middlemen and paying kickbacks in any form for a favourable decision.

The ED investigation further revealed that complex structures of money laundering were used to launder the kickbacks through a maze of companies across several countries like Tunisia, Mauritius, the UK, Switzerland, BVI, and the UAE. AgustaWestland paid kickbacks to the tune of Euro 28 million to the companies of foreign nationals Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa in India and Tunisia on the pretext of engineering contracts.

“Further, the Tunisian company of accused Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa signed sham consultancy agreements to transfer the kickbacks to the tune of Euro 12.4 million to a company in Mauritius which transferred and routed the kickbacks to intended beneficiaries including the companies beneficially owned by Gupta,” said the official.

During the investigation, one prosecution complaint and 11 supplementary prosecution complaints have been filed before the Special Court.

“The ED has also issued 12 Provisional Attachment Orders including the latest one against Gupta attaching therein proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs. 110 crore. The nature of the properties attached in India includes bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks, jewellery, land, and residential flats whereas properties attached in foreign jurisdiction include a residential property belonging to a middleman in France and a bank account beneficially owned by an accused in Union Bancaire Privee UBP SA, Zurich, Switzerland,” said the official.

One accused Christian Michel James was extradited to India from the UAE and another accused was deported from the UAE.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.