VVIP choppers case: Enforcement arrests defence agent

Photo for representative purpose only. Pixabay

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a defence agent from Delhi in the ₹3,600-crore VVIP choppers deal case, officials said on March 26. They said Sushen Mohan Gupta was arrested late in the night of March 25 by agency sleuths under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Gupta, they said, has allegedly dealt in defence deals, including the AgustaWestland helicopters deal. He will be produced before a special PMLA court here on March 26.

Lawyer Gautam Khaitan and alleged British middleman Christian Michel were earlier arrested by the ED in the case.

The ED officials said Gupta’s role in the case came to light on the basis of disclosures made by Rajiv Saxena, who recently turned approver in the case after he was deported from the UAE and arrested by ED sleuths here.

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It is suspected that Gupta has in his possession some payment details in the purchase of VVIP choppers and the link is to be unravelled, they said. He has, hence, been arrested, they said.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of ₹423 crore by it for securing the deal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the ED have filed multiple charge sheets in the case and named former IAF chief S P Tyagi and his family members as accused besides others.

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