In a major boost to agencies probing high-profile corruption cases, a Dubai-based businessman wanted in the VVIP choppers case and a corporate aviation lobbyist had been deported to India, officials said on Thursday.
They said Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena wanted in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers money laundering case and lobbyist Deepak Talwar wanted by the ED and the CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the foreign funding route, were brought in a special plane to Delhi around 1.30 am.
The two have been arrested. The agency had taken their custody and they would be produced before a court day. Both were picked by Dubai authorities on Wednesday 'in assistance' to a request made by Indian agencies, they added.
A co-accused and alleged middleman in this case, British national Christian James Michel, was recently extradited from Dubai and is currently in judicial custody. Saxena’s lawyers alleged that no extradition proceedings were started against him in the UAE and he was not allowed to access his family or lawyers while being sent to India. Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe’s leading missile manufacturing company. His role in some aviation deals during the UPA government’s regime is under the scanner.
Talwar has been booked by the ED and the CBI in criminal cases of corruption, even as the Income Tax Department has charged him with tax evasion. The ED had summoned Rajeev Saxena, a resident of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife Shivani Saxena from the Chennai airport in July, 2017. She is now out on bail.
The ED had alleged that Rajeev, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms--Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai, and Ms Matrix Holdings--routed 'the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others'. The ED had said that its probe found that 'Agusta Westland International Ltd, UK, paid an amount of euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia, and IDS Sarl, Tunisia'.
'These companies further siphoned off the said money/proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and others which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai, and Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others,' the ED had charged.