AgustaWestland: Court allows ED to quiz Sushen Gupta

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to quiz businessman Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

Gupta was presented before Special Judge Arvind Kumar who remanded him to four-day ED custody.

He was arrested a day after the court allowed Dubai-based businessman and alleged middleman in the deal Rajiv Saxena to become an approver in the case.

The ED has alleged that Saxena in his disclosure statement has revealed that Interstellar Technologies, a company which received AgustaWestland kickbacks, was controlled by lawyer Gautam Khaitan and Sushen Gupta. Saxena also presented two diaries, some loose sheets, and other documents and a pen drive which all related to Gupta.

The Directorate had sought his custody on grounds that he is required to be confronted with the documents related to the case and unearth how the kickbacks were routed and laundered.

Gupta’s counsel had opposed the ED plea.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) security agencies had picked up Saxena from his Dubai residence on January 30 and extradited to India the same night. He was granted bail on medical grounds last week. The ED did not oppose his bail application.

According to the ED, Saxena, in connivance with lawyer Gautam Khaitan, provided the global corporate structure that laundered money for payment to various political leaders, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials in order to influence the contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers in favour of AgustaWestland, the Rome-headquartered helicopter design and manufacturing company.