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Enforcement Directorate seeks extradition of Italian middleman

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 5, 2017, 2:56 am IST
Updated : Oct 5, 2017, 2:57 am IST

The global police informed the CBI, nodal agency for Interpol in India, of his detention.

A file photo of AgustaWestland (AW101) VVIP Airforce Helicopter.
 A file photo of AgustaWestland (AW101) VVIP Airforce Helicopter.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), investing the multi-crore AgustaWestland helicopter deal case, will soon approach the authorities concerned in Italy for early extradition of the alleged European middlemen in the deal, Carlo Gerosa. Gerosa was recently apprehended by authorities in Italy on the basis of an Interpol notice activated by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe in the VVIP choppers deal case.

Sources said the Central probe agency will soon move for his extradition to India through diplomatic channels.

“Gerosa has been held in Italy few days back on the basis of an Interpol notice activated by the ED last year. The global police informed the CBI, nodal agency for Interpol in India, of his detention. The ED was intimated by the CBI about his arrest in Italy. Now, the ED is preparing to move an extradition request”, the agency sources said. Sources said Gerosa was held when he was coming from Switzerland to Italy.

Gerosa, 70, is one of the three alleged middlemen wanted in this case and his interrogation and statement is very important for both the ED and the CBI, who is also probing the case. The ED has notified a Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against Gerosa and two others—British national Christian Michel James and Italian Guido Haschke — last year.

An RCN, according to the Interpol, is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe. The ED, in its second charge sheet filed in the case last year, had said the three middlemen “managed to” make inroads into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in order to influence and subvert its stand regarding reducing the service ceiling of helicopters from 6,000 m to 4,500 m in 2005 after which AgustaWestland became eligible to supply the dozen helicopters for VVIP flying duties. Service ceiling is the altitude at which a helicopter can fly. It had said investigations found that remittances made by Michel through his Dubai-based firm Ms Global Services, FZE to a media firm he floated in Delhi, along with two Indians, were made from the funds which he got from Ms AgustaWestland SpA through “criminal activity” and corruption being done in the chopper deal that led to subsequent generation of proceeds of crime.

Tags: enforcement directorate, agustawestland, indian air force