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Apr 24, 2013 at 08:23am IST

Chopper deal: CBI freezes accounts of accused including SP Tyagi

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has frozen the accounts of all accused in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal including former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi. The CBI FIR had named Tyagi as one of the recipients of alleged kickbacks. The probing agency believes Tyagi tweaked norms so that AgustaWestland could qualify.

The CBI had filed an FIR against 12 people including SP Tyagi and his cousins Julie and Docsa in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case. The FIR names four firms and 12 people.

ALSO SEE Former IAF chief SP Tyagi got cash for favouring AgustaWestland: CBI

The CBI had registered a regular case in the VVIP chopper deal under Sections 120 and 420 of the IPC and under certain sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI also carried out searches at 14 locations in Delhi, NCR and Chandigarh in connection with the case.

The CBI team had also raided SP Tyagi's residence after it filed an FIR against him. SP Tyagi received cash in return for favouring AgustaWestland in the controversial Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal, the report by the CBI, a copy of which is with CNN-IBN, stated. The report, however, failed to mention the amount that was paid to the retired Air Chief Marshal and the mode of payment. The report also added that Tyagi's cousins received nearly 3,26,000 euros during the course of the deal and that around 20 million euros was routed to India through hawala although it is not known who got the bulk of the amount.

The CBI's report revealed that SP Tyagi received the cash from alleged middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. The report reiterated that it was during the tenure of Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi and with his approval that the Indian Air Force conceded to reduce the service ceiling for helicopters from 4500 metres from 6000 metres. The CBI said that till then, the Air Headquarters did not want the ceiling to be reduced as it compromised safety of VVIPs in high altitude areas.

According to the CBI, the Tyagi brothers - Sanjeev (Julie) Tyagi, Rajeev (Docsa) Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi - received 1,20,000 euros in May 2004 and another 2,00,000 euros in February 2005 from a Tunisia-based company linked to Haschke and Gerosa. The CBI says this is the only big payment that went to the Tyagi brothers.

On March 25, Defence Minister AK Antony said that money was indeed paid in the deal but he did not take any names. "Someone has taken money (in the chopper deal). The corrupt will not be spared," Antony had said in Kochi.