Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Italian middlemen prove Indian CBI Officials are morons

Indian officials are ‘morons’, will take years to track links, middlemen said
Manu Pubby : New Delhi, Tue Oct 30 2012, 01:52 hrs
The alleged middlemen in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal bragged that even if Indian investigators probed their role, they would find no money trail as the payments were made in cash, and that they would not be able to identify Sanjeev Kumar Tyagi as the person behind the affair, taped conversations that are part of an Italian judicial report reveal.
In a conversation between business partners Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, the name of Tyagi — a Delhi-based businessman who is also known as Julie — comes up as the duo talk about payments being made in cash for the 2010 deal to procure 12 VVIP helicopters, and brag that Indian prosecutors would never be able to prove the corruption.
A part of the 568-page report records Gerosa as saying that “the only one who is safe from judicial consequence is Julie as they (Indian investigators) are morons and that there is no link”.
Tyagi, who claims to be a former Air Force officer but was not actually commissioned into the Force, is a Delhi-based consultant with an office in the city’s upmarket Ferozeshah Road area. He is believed to be active in the government sector, particularly power.
The following conversation that was recorded on March 1 between Haschke and Gerosa:
Haschke: The important (thing) is that my name does not leak.
Gerosa: Eh mine too. You are the first ring.
H: Understood.
G: If the first rings breaks I also come into the picture.
H: Let’s try to avoid that the first rings breaks, first of all!
G: We all agree.
H: And in the meantime we go on with the job.
G: The only one who has no risks is Julie, because we are those in the front.
G: There is really no link there because, I mean... cash.
H: Exactly, so they (the judges) will never be able to prove that corruption was there. They can say that engineering was expensive, though it is not even that expensive, but they can never say corruption was there. This is the essence.
Italian investigators conclude from the long-winding conversation that Gerosa was afraid that Indian investigators could get some clues that corruption took place for the Rs 3,546-crore deal.
“Haschke says they can claim that the engineering was expensive and nobody can ever say corruption took place. Gerosa disagrees and says there are some clues, Haschke says with clues you can be remanded but you cannot be sentenced. Gerosa says it just needs the judge to be convinced that corruption took place, it is not important if you have the proof of how much was paid and to whom,” the report says.
The two Italian consultants, who were extensively trailed, tracked and bugged by investigators, also brag about the fact that the commission paid has been routed through Mauritius and that it would take Indian sleuths years to track it down as they did not know about the Mauritius link. The duo express fear that their lawyer, Gautam Khaitan, may also get arrested if money laundering was probed.
Here is another conversation that also took place on March 1:
Gerosa: It’s clear that if money is no longer there, it must have gone somewhere, don’t we want to say where? In this thing even Gautam will go inside (behind bars) because (incomprehensible) Mauritius. You know when the letter of request will reach Mauritius? (incomprehensible) If they wanted... (incomprehensible)... with the letter to Mauritius (incomprehensible)....
Haschke: Before they send the letter to Mauritius, they have to understand it went there (the money). And to understand it went to Mauritius they first have to send a letter of request to Italy, then to Tunisia and then, maybe, in 10 years....
Italian investigators have also stumbled upon several Indians involved in the deal but have somehow not named them in the preliminary report. In one instance, the investigators summarised they learnt from shadowing Haschke and Gerosa as well as the conversations that were tapped THAT ....
“Following press articles regarding the corruption over the 12-helicopter deal (in The Indian Express), they talk, revealing some minute particulars regarding the sale and some people including Orsi, Spagnolini, Haschke, Gerosa and other Indian individuals involved in the case,” the police report says.
The Italian investigators have also concluded that the middlemen were receiving the “due payments” through moneylaundering operations in Tunisia and Mauritius.
“It is understood that they are receiving ‘the due’, that is the 20 million euros (rest went to Christian Michel) through fictitious operations in Tunisia. Afterwards, the money goes to Mauritius. It is also revealed that Orsi, Spagnolini and other top managers have full responsibility and complicity in the operation,” the report says, adding that the duo talk about other Italian and Indian individuals involved in the dealing.
Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland has denied that it used agents or intermediaries for the India contract even as it admitted that it was aware of the preliminary investigation in the case.
Indian officials are ‘morons’, will take years to track links, middlemen said
India Operations
Haschke and Carlo jointly run Aeromatrix, the Chandigarh-based services company specializing in aerospace and a host of other sectors. The former, known for his connections in Indian military sector has been on the board of Emaar MGF in the past. With a series of corruption charges levelled against Finmeccanica, Italian prosecutors tapped the phone of Guido Haschke, the alleged middleman, while probing into the deal. They have informed the judiciary about the outstanding evidence procured by them. A part of the commission that was paid was routed through Mauritius and Tunisia, along with details of the tapped conversation.
A day after The Indian Express reported an Italian investigation report into corruption allegations in the VVIP helicopter deal, lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who has been named as one of the persons being investigated, has said that he has no role in any defence deal and his contact with alleged middleman Guido Haschke was limited to being a legal counsel.
“I strongly deny all such allegations and insinuation of my having any direct/indirect involvement in any defence deals along with the alleged deal of VVIP helicopters. There is no question of any wrongdoing. I and my firm are acting as the lawyers for Aeromatrix for the limited purpose of helping the company with its statutory compliances in India and some other petty day-to-day matters,” Khaitan said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has said that it has no records that Sanjeev Kumar Tyagi, who has been identified as a former air force officer in the Italian police report, has ever served with it.
The Italian report, however, does name Tyagi as one of the three Indians whose names figure in the chargesheet and has records of his conversations and meetings with Haschke. The report names him as a former IAF pilot who is now a Delhi-based businessman.
Sources, however, indicate that Tyagi did join the air force academy and train to be a pilot but may not have been actually commissioned into the air force. He is believed to be very close to several senior air force officers. Click here for the original post

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