CBI CONDUCTS SEARCHES DURING FURTHER INVESTIGATION OF A CASE RELATED TO PROCUREMENT OF VVIP HELICOPTERS

Press Release
New Delhi, 02.11.2017

The Central Bureau of Investigation has conducted searches at 03 places in Delhi and 03 places in Kolkata, including residence & Office of MD of a Delhi based private firm; office & residence of a Director of another private firm based at Kolkata and the residence of his close associate in Kolkata as a part of further investigation in a case related to procurement of VVIP Helicopters from AgustaWestland. During search, Indian currency of Rs.55.68 lakh(approx) at the residence of a MD of Delhi based private firm and Rs.29 lakh( approx) at the residence of a Director of another private firm in Kolkata were found. Incriminating documents also recovered during searches are being scrutinised. Searches related to lockers of the accused at Kolkata & Delhi are in progress. The said accused have allegedly laundered the proceeds of crime obtained in cash by the middleman, through Shell companies.

A case was registered U/s 120 B r/w 420 of IPC and Sections 7,8,9,12 & 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988 against then Chief of Air Staff and 18 other accused persons/companies. Chargesheet was filed in the case on 01.09.2017 and further investigation is underway.

It was alleged that the then Chief of Air Staff(CAS) entered into criminal conspiracy with the other accused persons and conceded to change IAF's consistent stand that service ceiling of 6000 mtrs for VVIP Helicoters, an inescapable operational necessity, to 4500 meters. It was also alleged that besides reduction in the service ceiling, a new Operation Requirement (OR) with respect to cabin height of at least 1.8 meter was introduced for the first time. It was further alleged that Operation Requirement(OR) with regard to number of engines was changed from 'twin engined' to 'at least' without assigning any reason.

Investigation revealed that undue favours were allegedly shown to M/s AWIL by accepting illegal gratification from the accused vendors through middlemen/relatives including other accused who accepted illegal gratification for exercising influence over the concerned public servants.

Further investigation is continuing.

********