This Article is From Dec 10, 2016

Former IAF Chief SP Tyagi Arrested By CBI In AugustaWestland Chopper Scam: 10 Facts

Ex-IAF Chief Shashindra Pal Tyagi arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation on the AgustaWestland deal


  • Ex-Air chief Tyagi was repeatedly questioned on deal with AgustaWestland
  • Mr Tyagi accused of helping AgustaWestland win Rs 3,700 crore deal
  • The Tyagis entered a consultancy deal with middlemen in 2004
New Delhi: Former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi was arrested on Friday over alleged irregularities in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal worth 3,600 crores, signed when the Congress was in power. He was arrested along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan after hours of questioning. The former air chief has been accused of abusing his official position by corrupt means. This is the first high-profile arrest made by acting CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, who headed the investigation into the chopper deal before his appointment as the agency's interim chief last week.

Here is your 10-point guide to this story:

  1. The former air chief has been repeatedly questioned on the deal with UK-based helicopter maker AgustaWestland, in which kickbacks were allegedly paid to Indian officials and politicians to influence the contract for a dozen VVIP choppers for the President, Prime Minister and other top leaders of the country.

  2. The CBI had registered a case against the former air chief and 18 others, including his cousins and European middlemen, three years ago.

  3. Retired Air Marshal Tyagi, who headed the Air Force between 2004 and 2007, is accused by investigators in Italy and India of helping AgustaWestland win the chopper contract by tailoring specifications at the instance of his cousins.

  4. Investigations have revealed that the Tyagis entered into a consultancy deal with middlemen in 2004, when Air Marshal Tyagi's cousins were certain that he would be the next air force chief and in a position to influence the deal.

  5. Investigators say there is evidence that Air Mashal Tyagi met with a top official of Agusta's parent company Finmeccanica when he was Air Chief.

  6. The specific allegation against the former air chief is that he reduced the required flying height for VVIP choppers from 6,000 m to 4,500 m, which helped AgustaWestland qualify.

  7. Air Marshal Tyagi claimed that the change of specifications was a collective decision involving many departments.

  8. The Enforcement Directorate alleges that payments were made through Tunisia-registered companies controlled by Switzerland-based intermediaries Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa and transferred to accounts in India and Mauritius.

  9. Three helicopters had been delivered to India before the deal was stalled in 2013.

  10. Rakesh Asthana, who ordered the arrest, has been in the headlines over his appointment as the interim CBI chief, with the opposition alleging that the government did not follow the rules for selection.

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