VVIP chopper case: Sushen Gupta’s custody extended

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday extended by two more days the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

Gupta was presented before Special Judge Arvind Kumar on the expiry of his three-day ED custody. He was arrested on March 26, a day after the court allowed Rajiv Saxena, a Dubai-based businessman and another alleged middleman in the deal, to become approver.

The ED told the court that Gupta would be confronted with some documents.

Meanwhile, Gupta moved an application seeking bail, which has been listed for April 9 for further hearing.

Saxena in his disclosure statement submitted to the ED revealed that Interstellar Technologies, a company that received AgustaWestland kickbacks, was controlled by Khaitan and Gupta. It said Saxena had also presented two diaries, some loose sheets, and other documents and a pen drive, all related to Gupta.

Opposing the ED plea, Gupta’s counsel said he was co-operating in the investigation.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) security agencies had picked up Saxena from his Dubai residence on January 30 and extradited him to India. 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 Khaitan, developed the global corporate structure that laundered money for payment to politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials to influence the contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers in favour of AgustaWestland, the Rome-based helicopter design and manufacturing company.