New Delhi: Congress leader Srinivas BV stating a report has clarified that the codeword ‘SG’ mentioned in the loose sheets and diaries pertaining to the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal refer to the alleged defence dealer Sushen Mohan Gupta, and not Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its chargesheet made this mention upon the verification of the data regarding transactions contained in pen drive, which was submitted with the ED by alleged businessman Rajiv Saxena with data of transactions received through letter rogatory (LR) from ICAC, Mauritius.
“There were several other emails sent to the ML administrator for transfer of funds to various entities which had references of ‘SG’. These transactions are seen in the pen drive establishing that the pen drive belongs to Gupta and the transfer of funds to these entities is also reflected in the bank statements of Interstellar Technologies Limited (ITL) establishing the fact of accuracy of data recorded in the transaction and the fact that the same have actually occurred,” the ED said.
Gupta was arrested by the ED on March 26, 2019. He was granted bail by a court later while Saxena was extradited to India from the UAE in January 2019.
The AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam is a corruption case where it has been alleged that bribes were paid to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore.
In February 2010, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of the time signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters at Rs 3,600 crore. These helicopters were supposed to be used for ferrying the President of India, the Prime Minister, and other such very, very important people.
The deal was cancelled in 2014 by the Congress-led government.