ED takes custody of Saxena, Talwar in AgustaWestland chopper case

Last Modified Thursday, 31 January 2019 (17:26 IST)
New Delhi: The Directorate of (ED) on Thursday took custody of Dubai-based businessman and a corporate aviation lobbyist in the VVIP choppers case within hours of the deportation of the duo to India from Dubai.
Saxena was wanted in Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers Money Laundering case and lobbyist Deepak Talwar was wanted by the and CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the Foreign Funding Route (FFR), were brought in a special plane to Delhi around 1:30AM and were arrested by the ED.
 
After a request made by Indian agencies both of them were picked by Dubai authorities on Wednesday.British National Christian James Michel, the alleged middleman and co accused in this matter, was extradited last year in the month of December from Dubai to India and is currently in judicial custody.
 
It is submitted on behalf of counsel for Saxena that no extradition proceedings were started against him in the UAE and he was not allowed to access his family or lawyers while being sent to India.
 
In this matter, Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under the various provisions of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading missile manufacturing company.
 
The ED and CBI have booked Talwar in criminal cases of corruption and Income Tax Department has charged him with tax evasion.The ED had summoned Rajeev Saxena multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife Shivani Saxena from Chennai airport in July, 2017 and she is now out on bail.
 
It is alleged on behalf of ED that Rajeev, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai and Ms Matrix Holdings routed "the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others". 
 
ED further alleged that "AgustaWestland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia and "these companies further siphoned off the said proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and others which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others".
 
ED alleged that Rajeev was "beneficial owner" of Interstellar Technologies Ltd and both his companies received proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank accounts from this firm and couple have remitted/ transferred a "huge amount of money" through their Dubai based companies to various other accounts.
 
On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.
 
Rajeev Saxena and Deepak Talwar were produced before Additional Session Judge Arvind Kumar in Patiala House Court on Thursday.(UNI)