AgustaWestland accused Gautam Khaitan arrested by ED under Black Money Act

New Delhi: Gautam Khaitan, the lawyer accused in AgustaWestland case, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday and will be shortly produced before a magistrate in Patiala House Court.

Last week, the Income Tax Department sleuths raided offices and various other properties in Delhi-NCR belonging to him.

The Income Tax Department claims to have gathered evidence against Khaitan for allegedly receiving kickbacks in other defence deals, besides AgustaWestland, during the UPA tenure.

On recommendation of the IT department, ED had registered a case against him under the Black Money Act.

Last month, the government had managed extradition of alleged middleman Christian Michel from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who is now in the custody of ED which is probing allegations of money laundering.

Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case, was extradited from the UAE on December 4 last year.

On July 18 last year, ED had filed prosecution complaint against 34 accused persons and companies including Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former directors of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, former IAF chief S.P. Tyagi and others in the case of AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam.

The ED investigation revealed that the kickbacks were paid by AgustaWestland through two different channels.
One channel was handled by middleman Christian Michel James and the other channel was handled by Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke.

Gerosa and Haschke in collusion with Tyagi brothers (cousins of former IAF chief S.P Tyagi), conspired with Gautam Khaitan of M/s OP Khaitan and Company Auditors & Solicitors based in New Delhi.