AgustaWestland scam: ED arrests director of UAE company under PMLA

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The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested Shivani Saxena in connection with the multi-crore AgustaWestland Helicopter Scam. Shivani Saxena is the director of UAE based-Director Matrix Holdings.

AgustaWestland scam: ED arrests director of UAE company under PMLA

The Enforcement Directorate said that Saxena has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the chopper deal case. In 2016, the ED had sought information about some UAE based companies said to have had links with AgustaWestland middleman and fugitive Christian Michel.

The money trail involving payment of alleged kickbacks through Michel had led the Enforcement Directorate to at least six UAE-based companies last year. Investigators suspected that the companies had financial dealings with his Dubai firm Global Services FZE. The second agreement for the deal was signed with Global Services in May 2010. Global Services, a Dubai-based broker firm was signed on to facilitate the sale of 14 old Westland choppers, to be procured from Pawan Hans.

Investigators suspect that funds were transferred during after these agreements were signed. Shivani Saxena, who was arrested on Monday, has been on the ED's radar for months now. The Enforcement Directorate was scrutinising if Saxena's company received any funds from Global Services or middleman Michel's Global Trade & Commerce in UK. Retired Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi is also an accused in the helicopter scandal.

ED officials sought information on UAE based companies after learning that Michel, who had set up shell companies in Delhi in 2005, transferred back money to Dubai. On the pretext of exports of music CDs and jewellery, the shell company received Rs 7 crore till 2007 from Global Services. After agencies started tracking the suspicious transfers, Micheal is said to have transferred Rs 6 crore to Dubai after liquidation of assets.

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