A Delhi court today extended by four more days the ED custody of Rajeev Saxena, an accused recently deported from Dubai in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money laundering case.
Mr Saxena, a Dubai-based businessman, was deported from Dubai on January 31 and sent to four-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) the same day.
The court allowed ED's plea seeking extension of his custody on the ground that he was required for confronting with Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi-based lawyer and a co-accused, who was earlier arrested in the case and is in the agency's custody in another case.
ED's special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta had sought the custody for 10 more days, saying that both Mr Saxena and Mr Khaitan provided global corporate structure to launder money.
The ED alleged that in connivance with Mr Khaitan, Mr Saxena provided a global corporate structure for laundering illegal proceeds of the crime for payment to various political persons, bureaucrats and Air Force officials to influence the contract to supply 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.
"The custodial interrogation of Rajiv Saxena is required for the purposes of his confrontation with co-accused Gautam Khaitan, who is in custody of the ED in another case. The two said accused were the key figures in placing, layering and integrating the tainted money into the financial system," the agency said.
ED's advocate Samvedna Verma said: "To unearth and ascertain the end use of the funds received by him through his companies namely Interstellar Technologies, Mauritius, UHY Saxena, Dubai, Matrix and others in their accounts maintained and the role of his key aides in the projection of the said tainted money as untainted".
The agency also said that Saxena''s further custodial interrogation was required for confronting with the voluminous material of approximately 20 GB, which was presently under process in a lab and was supposed to be received today.
"Rajiv Saxena has also revealed in interrogation his ownership on certain companies which were found receiving proceeds of crime from Global Services FZE, the other channel used by the accused Christian Michel James. His custody would therefore be essential to ascertain the meeting point of the two channels of money laundering involved in the present case," the ED said.
It also said that his custody was required for determining the roles of other co-accused.
"Investigation has revealed and clarified the roles of various other persons and further investigation is still ongoing to determine their complicity. His custody is thus essential to unearth the sequence of events and the trail of the flow of the tainted money, and the roles of each person," the ED said.
Mr Saxena, a director of two Dubai-based firms -- UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings -- was picked up by Dubai authorities last Wednesday in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers money laundering case and deported to India in the evening.
He was residing in Palm Jumeriah, Dubai and has been living in the UAE for last 26 years.
Maintaining that AgustaWestland had paid Euro 58 million as kickbacks through two Tunisia-based firms, ED''s advocate Samvedna Verma alleged that "these companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others".
Mr Saxena is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by the ED. Michel, former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, Tyagi and Saxena''s wife Shivani were also named by the agency.
It was alleged by the probe agency that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/ shares, among others" in this case.
On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica''s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.