Govt orders CBI probe into VIP chopper deal after head of Italian firm Finmeccanica is arrested

Govt orders CBI probe into VIP chopper deal after head of Italian firm Finmeccanica is arrested
New Delhi The Defence Ministry has asked for a CBI investigation into a 4,000-crore helicopter deal with Italian company defence giant Finmeccanica. Italian media earlier reported that Finmeccanica's chief executive was arrested for corruption and embezzlement.

Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi had been under investigation for months and had denied any wrongdoing in the deal for the sale of a dozen AgustaWestlands to India in 2010. Three AgustaWestland helicopters have already been delivered to India.

Officials in the Defence Ministry in India say that their own investigation of the helicopter deal has not exposed any financial malpractices, and that the deal for the helicopters for use by VIPs, including the Prime Minister, will not be impacted by the arrest in Italy. 

The state-controlled Finmeccanica group has been investigated in Italy for three years for allegedly paying bribes in different countries and at home. The company has refuted the charges.

In a statement in February, Finmeccanica said, "AgustaWestland is not involved in any irregularity concerning the supply of helicopters in India. No notice related to the investigations has been served." (Read full statement)
Story First Published: February 12, 2013 13:04 IST

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