New Delhi, Apr 30: It has been four years since India has contacted seven countries to bust the money trail relating to the AgustaWestland case.
A response is still awaited. It has been ascertained that a large chunk of the money was moved around through various companies set up in India, US, Mauritius and Tunisa.
The modus operandi according to the Enforcement Directorate was to set up companies and move money around. The ED says that Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa had contacted Gautham Khaitan a Delhi based lawyer to set up the companies.
He set up these companies and his existing staff were shown as board members and employees of these companies.
The ED which is probing the money laundering trail in this case found that money had moved through several companies both in India and abroad.
According to the probe by the ED, a firm called IDS Tunisia which was set up as a subsidiary received around 24 million Euros from AgustaWestland.
After this subsidiary received the money it was transferred to another firm called Aeromatrix and IDS Infotech in Chandigarh. The ED says amounts of 3.8 million Euros and 1.8 million Euros were transferred to these firms respectively while the rest was retained by IDS Tunisia.
Investigators have also found the bribes were being paid since 2004 itself. The ground work was already being laid for a deal which was to come through in 2010.
It was the cousins of the former Indian Airforce Chief, S P Tyagi who had assured Haschke that they could swing the deal in their favour. Interestingly the first payout as bribe was done in May 2004 again seven months before Tyagi became the Air Chief.
Need more information
The ED says that it would require more information from Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, United States of America and the United Kingdom in order to bust the entire money trail.
Transactions were alleged to have been made by Christian Michel from the UAE and the UK. However not much information has been received from these countries and hence the probe had slowed down.
However there is a fresh vigour now to chase down the information and the Indian government is moving fast in this case. India has already sought the extradition of Michel believed to be in the UK.