VVIP Chopper deal: Open NBW issued against UK national accused

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New Delhi, Oct 23: A Delhi court today issued an open non-bailable warrant (NBW) against British national Christian Michel James, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case, after Enforcement Directorate said that his questioning was needed to ascertain key aspects of the matter.

"In view of the above submissions open-ended non-bailable warrant be issued against the accused Christian Michel James," Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain said.

VVIP Chopper deal: Open NBW issued against UK national accused.
The court's order came on a plea filed by the ED seeking issuance of open NBW against James, who is presently in Dubai, claiming that Agusta Westland had allegedly paid a "kickback" of around 70 million Euro out of which around 30 million Euros was paid to James and his firm Global Services FZE, Dubai.

The agency claimed, "the investigations revealed that kick backs received by Christian Michel James in his company M/s Global Services, FZE, Dubai in the guise of two agreements from M/s Agusta Westland, were nothing other than that of the kickback which is thus a proceeds of crime."

ED's prosecutor N K Matta told the court that sustained custodial examination of James was essential for furtherance of investigation in the case to know about the role played by him in the procurement of 12 VVIP helicopter deal and also to identify his accomplices and associates.

Matta also informed the court that interrogation of James was necessary to know about the quantum of proceeds of crime he had received as commission for this deal from these firms, details of movable/immovable properties on which the proceeds of crime was invested and allegedly laundered by him and also for "decoding" the names of various persons figuring in the documents recovered during the probe.

"It is also relevant to know that where he had parked the commission amount i.e. proceeds of crime, how he had secured the influence of various persons in India for the said procurement and how he was sending the progress report to officials and other private persons involved in the deal from M/s Agusta Westland etc," the agency claimed.

On September 24, the court had issued an open NBW against James on an application by CBI which is also running a parallel probe in the matter.

PTI

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