New Delhi: The sale of Augusta Westland helicopters to the Air Force is being probed for possible kickbacks. Italian authorities have reportedly recorded conversations between the India head of the helicopter manufacturer, Finmeccanica, and a middleman.
The deal to purchase 12 VVIP helicopters for Rs 3500 crores is already under a cloud with the Ministry of Defence seeking probe reports from Italian authorities. Italian prosecutors have been investigating a series of corruption charges against Finmeccanica.
They say they have strong proof of the commission paid to middleman Guido Haschke through Mauritius and Tunisia. Swiss-based consultant Haschke was paid 51 million euros to swing the Indian deal. They also claim to have taped conversations between Haschke and some Indian nationals. Haschke and and his partner own a Chandigarh-based services company called Aeromatrix.