VVIP chopper scam: Christian Michel transferred ‘unused’ AgustaWestland bribe to UK, suspects CBI

JANUARY 23, 2019

CBI has alleged that AgustaWestland had paid Christian Michel 42.27 million euros (around Rs 300 crores) for making further payments to Indian politicians and officials in connection with VVIP chopper scam

New Delhi:  Christian Michel, the alleged defence middleman who was extradited from Dubai to India in connection with the VVIP chopper scam, had reportedly transferred money to London-based accounts on several occasions at a time when India was pursuing his extradition, as per the CBI. Michel could have moved the “unused” bribe in the Rs 3,700 crores AgustaWestland chopper scam to the UK, the CBI reportedly suspects.

As per the Times of India report, the agency has sent a letter rogatory, or a judicial request to British authorities seeking details about these suspicious transfers. The agency has alleged that AgustaWestland had paid Michel 42.27 million euros (around Rs 300 crores) for making further payments to Indian politicians and officials of the defence ministry and the Indian Air Force in order to get the contract for the 12 VVIP choppers that were to be procured by the Indian government.

According to the CBI, there was “no trail of several millions” out of the bribe money.

Michel purportedly brought a large chunk of the money in “cash” to India, however, there was a sizeable amount of bribe money in accounts of two of his companies – Global Services FZE, Dubai, and Global Trade and Commerce Service, London, sources told the daily.

The CBI was pursuing his extradition case in 2017 and 2018, however, Michel was out on bail in Dubai at that time. An officer told TOI, “He probably realised that Indian authorities were closing in on him, so he made several transfers to accounts in the UK.”

As per the CBI, Michel’s move to transfer money to London banks could have been a part of his plan to wrap up his businesses in the UAE. Reports suggested that Michel had tried several times to leave the UAE in 2018 but his plans were foiled repeatedly by Indian intelligence agencies.

Source: Timesnownews.com

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