Genesis of the Indian chopper scandal
- On 12 February 2013, the CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi was arrested and with his arrest the chopper scandal broke out.
- India had signed a contract for the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010.
- With the arrest of AgustaWestland's parent company's CEO by Italian authorities, India's Defense Minister AK Antony ordered a probe into the contract.
IAF chief, 12 others named in FIR
- The name of ex IAF chief SP Tyagi and 12 others surfaced in the FIR submitted by CBI for "alleged cheating and criminal conspiracy in ₹3600 crore VVIP helicopter deal."
- Former Union minister Santosh Bagrodia's brother Satish Bagrodia and Pratap Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of IDS Infotech were named too.
- Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix were the 4 companies named.
Chief Tyagi: The infamous first
Former IAF chief SP Tyagi is the first Indian Air Force chief "to be named in a corruption or criminal case by the CBI."
CBI to record Narayanan, Wanchoo statements
- On 22 January 2014, the CBI approached President Pranab Mukherjee for permission to record M K Narayanan and B V Wanchoo's statements regarding the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
- Narayanan and Wanchoo were the National Security Advisor and Special Protection Group chief respectively at the time of contract.
- Hence, their statements were considered important.
India scraps chopper deal
In January 2014, India cancelled the ₹3,600 crore chopper deal with AgustaWestland because of the corruption charges against the company.
India retrieves 45% of contract amount
- After the cancellation of the contract, India encashed over ₹250 crore made by AgustaWestland as bank guarantee in the Indian banks in January 2014.
- India's request to retrieve bank guarantee amount of ₹2364 crore was first rejected by an Italian court; however, the order was reversed on 17 March 2014.
- By June 2014, India recovered 45% of the contract amount it had paid.
First property seizures in chopper scam
- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigating money laundering charges against AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal scam middleman Christian Michel confirmed the seizure of 2 properties.
- A flat in Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, a luxury car and a ₹54 lakh fixed deposit was seized by the ED.
- The ED pegged the value of the properties bought from the proceeds of scam to be ₹1.12 crore.
Chopper-deal scam: ED attaches ex IAF chief kin's assets
- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) linked 5 residential properties which belonged to the family of former IAF chief SP Tyagi in connection with the chopper deal scam.
- The investigations contended that the spoils from the chopper deal were used to procure these residential properties by Tyagi brothers.
- The properties have a book value of ₹6.20 Cr, their real value is expected to be much higher.
Finmeccanica boss sentenced in the Indian chopper scam
- Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini of defense major Finmeccanica were sentenced by a Milan appeals court in a graft case involving 12 VVIP choppers' sale to India for ₹3,600 crores.
- Orsi- Finmeccanica's former chief was given 4.5 years in jail while Spagnolini- former CEO of AgustaWestland (Finmeccanica's subsidiary) got a four-year sentence.
- With this judgement, the court reversed the 2014 order which acquitted Orsi.