The search led to the detection of four additional undisclosed foreign bank accounts in UBS Bank Switzerland, OCBC Bank Singapore, Citizens Bank USA and Bank of Nevis International.

Agusta Westland case I-T Dept searches Hyd-based group linked to VVIP chopper scamImage for representation
news Crime Thursday, August 01, 2019 - 08:22

The Income Tax Department has searched a Hyderabad-based group linked to the VVIP helicopter scandal, more commonly known as the Agusta Westland scam, leading to detection of four undisclosed bank accounts abroad and seizure of unaccounted cash.

The Hyderabad-based group is engaged in the business of conducting seismic data analysis in which it imports on a large scale through a Dubai-based operator who is an accused in the chopper scam.

The surplus funds generated by over invoicing amounting to $6 million were parked in Dubai-based accounts of the operator.

According to Income Tax officials, the search led to incriminating evidence including e-mail and mobile conversations between the main director of the company raided and the Dubai-based operator regarding over-invoicing of imports.

"When confronted, the persons concerned admitted to over-invoicing," an official said.

Further, the search led to the detection of at least four additional undisclosed foreign bank accounts in UBS Bank Switzerland, OCBC Bank Singapore, Citizens Bank USA and Bank of Nevis International, St Kitts, said the official.

Moreover, three undisclosed companies of the Hyderabad-based promoter in tax havens - namely British Virgin Islands, Island of Nevis and Singapore - were detected.

The officials seized unexplained cash of Rs 45 lakh. Jewellery worth Rs 3.1 crore was also found and its ownership is being verified.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled 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 on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI, which registered an FIR on March 12, 2013, alleged that SP Tyagi, who was the IAF chief from 2004 to 2007, and the other accused received kickbacks from AgustaWestland to help it win the contract. 

According to the CBI, the IAF chief allegedly took bribes of several crores from AgustaWestland through the middlemen -- and a complex set of companies in several countries -- to change the specifications of the contract.

 

IANS inputs

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