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AgustaWestland case: ED takes custody of Rajeev Saxena, Deepak Talwar

The agency has taken their custody and they will be produced before a court later in the day. Both of them were picked by Dubai authorities on Wednesday "in assistance" to a request made by Indian agencies.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 31 Jan 2019 7:23 AM GMT

AgustaWestland case: ED takes custody of Rajeev Saxena, Deepak Talwar
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AgustaWestland case: ED takes custody of Rajeev Saxena, Deepak Talwar
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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday morning took custody of Rajeev Saxena and Deepak Talwar within hours of the deportation of the duo to India from Dubai.

Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, a Dubai-based entrepreneur and Deepak Talwar, a corporate aviation lobbyist, were arrested by Dubai authorities in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers money laundering case, and criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various sections of the FCRA, respectively. Saxena is believed to be a close-aide of AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel.

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The agency has taken their custody and they will be produced before a court later in the day.

Both of them were picked by Dubai authorities on Wednesday "in assistance" to a request made by Indian agencies.

The deportation is being seen as a major boost to agencies probing high-profile corruption cases. In December last year, a co-accused and alleged middleman in this case, British national Christian James Michel was also extradited from Dubai to India. He is currently in Indian judicial custody.

Saxena, who is also an accountant, is being deported by Dubai authorities on the basis of a non-bailable warrant issued by a court on the request of the ED.

Corporate aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, wanted by the ED and the CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the foreign funding route as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR), was also deported along with Rajeev Saxena from Dubai.

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Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading missile manufacturing company. His role in some aviation deals during the UPA government's regime is under scrutiny.

Talwar has been booked by the ED and the CBI in criminal cases of corruption, even as the Income Tax Department has charged him with tax evasion.

The ED had said that its probe found that "Agusta Westland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia.

The ED had named Rajeev Saxena in its charge sheet filed in this case and had got issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped 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 charges of inducement of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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