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AgustaWestland: Delhi court dismisses bail plea of accused in money laundering case linked to VVIP chopper deal

New Delhi: A court on Monday dismissed the bail plea of a woman director of a Dubai-based company in a money laundering case related to AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

Shivani Saxena's plea was rejected by special judge Arvind Kumar.

On 13 September, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheeted Saxena under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The ED, in June last year, filed the first supplementary chargesheet in the case against British national Christian Michel James, Delhi-based Media Exim Pvt Ltd, its Director RK Nanda and former Director JB Subramaniyam in its ongoing money-laundering probe in the Rs 3,600 crore helicopter deal.

The first chargesheet was filed in November 2014 against businessman Gautam Khaitan, his wife Ritu, Chandigarh-based firm Aeromatrix, and two alleged Italian middlemen — Guido Ralph Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

The chargesheet said the alleged middlemen managed to make inroads into the Indian Air Force to influence and subvert its stand on reducing the service ceiling of helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres in 2005, after which AgustaWestland became eligible to supply a dozen helicopters for VVIP duties.

Shivani, wife of Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, a resident of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, was arrested on 17 July.

The ED alleged that she and her husband were partners and Directors in Dubai-based companies UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Ltd, through which proceeds of the crime were routed and used for buying immovable properties and shares.

She was the second accused arrested by the Directorate in the case, after Khaitan, who was taken in custody in 2014, for his alleged role in routing the kickbacks in the purchase of 12 AW-101 helicopters. He is currently out on bail.

The case is based on the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which arrested former IAF chief SP Tyagi and two others in connection with the case in 2016.

Updated Date: Oct 16, 2017 19:01 PM

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