As the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal threatens to rattle the UPA government, a murky and complex payoff trail of 51 million Euro has emerged in the report filed by the Italian investigators.
It reveals that the Tyagis - Julie, Docsa and Sandeep - former air chief S.P Tyagi’s relatives received kickbacks of 100,000 Euro in cash, followed by many more tranches, through fake contracts with two companies - IDS India and IDS Tunisia. It was done to bribe the Indian officials in lieu of lubricating the deal in favour of AgustaWestland. The owners of these entities who got a massive 21 million Euros are unknown. A total of 51 million Euro was paid in kickbacks.
The invoices issued by IDS India and Tunisia indicate in detail the payments meant to “reward” the consultants and corrupt officials. Besides the Tyagis, middleman Christian Michel, engaged by the Italian co along with Guido Haschke to tilt the deal, was separately paid 30 million Euro. Michel reported directly to Finmeccanica boss Giuseppe Orsi. He was the second middleman employed by the company apart from Haschke.
The middlemen claim that 60 % of the commission went to the Tyagis while and rest went to the facilitators. In fact, the two cos - IDS India and IDS Tunisia - may be fronts for the Tyagis as their whereabouts and ownership are covered in mystery.
Finmeccania's CEO and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of AgustaWestland from 2005-11, has been detained under a warrant by the court of Busto Arsizio for the bribes paid to win the Indian contract. Orsi had entrusted the deal negotiations to his confidant Michel.
A middleman had met air chief marshal S.P. Tyagi at his cousins’ office in 2006 to discuss the technical specs of the AW101 helicopter. The probe has made it clear that such intermediaries were used by AgustaWestland despite the Indian law against such facilitators.
The helicopter could manage the Indian contract only after the specs were lowered for the rotor wing aircraft that can fly up to 15,000 feet as against 18,000 feet fixed earlier. Meetings were arranged between the Italian dealmakers with Tyagi by his cousins.
Meanwhile, the defence ministry has put on hold the payment of Rs.2,400 crore to Finmeccanica. The CBI is all set to probe the alleged payment of Rs.362 crore as it has got a formal complaint from the defence ministry in this regard.