Chopper Deal Scam: Ex-IAF Chief SP Tyagi in the dock with relatives

Indian political system with defence establishment has totally stunned into Rs 3600 crore defence helicopter deal as within few hours after the arresting of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi on charges of bribery in connection to the scam, former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief SP Tyagi’s name has been raised.

Swinging the twist in controversy, Italian agency claimed that Finmeccanica the country’s state-run defence firm allegedly bribed huge kickbacks to Tyagi in wake of AgustaWestland VVIP chopper won the contract in 2010 for securing 12 VVIP AgustaWestland helicopters from Italy.

Prosecutor suspected that around 51 million euros (about Rs 370 crore), about 10 percent of the deal were ploughed back into kickbacks to allow the AgustaWestland chopper enter the bidding process and set deal in its favour.

It is for the first time that group of state- run defence with a service chief has been named in graft scam.

Italian Investigating agency claimed that along with Orsi, and three other have also been put under house arrest including Bruno Spagnolini, the head of Finmeccanica’s helicopter unit AgustaWestland.

In 64-page report, filed in the tribunal of Busto Arsizio city for the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi, revealed that the then air chief, S P Tyagi, was instrumental in swinging the deal and was paid — “certain amount of money, not yet quantified”, sources said.

Twist rules in amid shockingly, when name of three brothers- Julie Tyagi, Docsa Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi -with family ties to Tyagi allegedly suspected as the Indian intermediaries during investigation by Italian authorities.

Moreover, Tyagi has dismissed all the allegations and denied to have any link to swing the deal in AgustaWestland favour, defending that the deal was signed three years after he retired from the IAF.

Soon after Orsi’s arrest, Defence Minister A.K. Antony has ordered a CBI probe into the $750 million deal.

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