Investigation

‘SG’ Stands For Sushen Mohan Gupta: ED Clarifies In AgustaWestland Probe

| Updated : December 24, 2021, 2:28 pm
Updated : December 24, 2021, 2:28 pm

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NEW DELHI: The codeword ‘SG’ mentioned in the loose sheets and diaries pertaining to the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal refer to the alleged defence dealer Sushen Mohan Gupta, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found. The bribe amount was routed in Congress-led UPA era to several officials and ministers, bringing then Union Coal minister Santosh Bagrodia’s brother’s Chandigarh-based firm IDS Infotech under lens for signing fake software contracts.

The financial probe agency in its chargesheet made this mention upon the verification of the data regarding transactions contained in pen drive, which was submitted with the ED by alleged businessman Rajiv Saxena with data of transactions received through letter rogatory (LR) from ICAC, Mauritius.

Gupta was arrested by the ED on March 26, 2019. He was granted bail by a court later while Saxena was extradited to India from the UAE in January 2019.

“There were several other emails sent to the ML administrator for transfer of funds to various entities which had references of ‘SG’. These transactions are seen in the pen drive establishing that the pen drive belongs to Gupta and the transfer of funds to these entities is also reflected in the bank statements of Interstellar Technologies Limited (ITL) establishing the fact of accuracy of data recorded in the transaction and the fact that the same have actually occurred,” the ED said.


 

The ED cited 13 mail references to prove that payments were made on the instructions of Gupta to several other people, including his stay at a resort in Koh Samui in December 2010.

The ED also stated that cross referencing of the data with bank statements of Interstellar Technology Limited, diaries, pen drive and loose sheets, books of accounts of individuals – “it is seen that the entries in the diaries, pen drive and sheets match and it can also be matched against the independent sources like transactions with individuals, bank statements received through LRs”.

The ED said that the majority of entries can be cross referenced and 510 such cross reference entries are placed to demonstrate that the genuineness of the data in the evidence is tendered and to establish ownership of Gupta of this data.

“The pen drive data matches with account statements of Interstellar Technologies Limited and establishes the correctness of the transaction and the fact that the same belonged to him,” the ED stated.

 

Following the mention of ‘AP’ for Ahmed Patel and ‘Fam’ as family by arrested British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel James has caused massive political uproar connecting the then UPA government politicians for their alleged links with AgustaWestland middlemen.

According to the ED, Saxena, in connivance with lawyer Gautam Khaitan, developed the global corporate structure that laundered money for payment to politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials to influence the contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers in favour of the Rome-based helicopter design and manufacturing company AgustaWestland.

Saxena turned approver for the ED in the court, a day before Gupta was arrested by the agency. The ED, in its probe, has highlighted that Gupta was in active connivance with Khaitan, was instrumental in controlling the flow of proceeds of crime from Interstellar Technologies Ltd and kickbacks have been transferred to different entities or persons having direct links with him.

It also alleged that Sushen Mohan Gupta was giving instructions to various entities and individuals having direct link with him, including for money transfers to his family members, employees etc. and used to give instructions for this from his email ID.

In the deal, cleared in 2010 by the then UPA government, all bribes were allegedly paid via middlemen.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland due to alleged breach of contractual obligations and payment of kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet in this case on September 1, 2017 against former Indian Air Force chief, S.P. Tyagi and 11 other accused. In its first charge sheet, the CBI had established a “money trail” of 62 million euros (around Rs 415 crore) out of the suspected 67 million euros (Rs 452 crore) total bribe paid to Indians through middlemen.

READAgustaWestland Scam: Pen Drive Submitted By Approver Rajiv Saxena Contained Data Of Sushen’s Defence Deals


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