Rs 3600-cr chopper deal scam: Italian firm chief held on charges of bribing in India
The alleged scam in a Rs. 3600 crore defence helicopter deal with an Italian firm on Tuesday took a new turn with its chief being arrested in Milan, prompting the government in India to order a CBI probe. “Giuseppe Orsi, the head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica,was arrested on Monday in relation to a probe into international corruption. He is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes regarding the sale to the Indian government of 12 helicopters produced by Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland,” Italian news agency Ansa said.Prosecutors suspect that around 50 million euros (Rs 362 crore approximately), about 10 per cent of the deal were ploughed back into kickbacks to ensure AgustaWestland won the contract, the agency reported.
In February 2010, India had inked the deal to acquire the 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for IAF’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs.
Soon after the news of arrest reached in New Delhi on Tuesday, defence minister AK Antony ordered a CBI probe into the deal.