You must have heard of AgustaWestland chopper scam in news. Do you know what was the AgustaWestland chopper deal?
As the details of India’s biggest defence scam after Bofors, AgustaWestland chopper scam is being unearthed and the role of UPA government and former IAF chief SP Tyagi in the scam is validated by the Italian court.
What is AgustaWestland chopper scam? What is the AgustaWestland chopper deal?
In February 2010, the Congress-led UPA government had signed a contract with UK-based helicopter manufacturing company AgustaWestland to purchase 12 AW101 helicopters for the Indian Air Force for Rs 3,600 crore.
These choppers were supposed to be used for flying the President of India, the Prime Minister, and other such VVIPs.
Why was the AgustaWestland chopper deal dropped?
In February 2013, Italian police arrested Agusta Westland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and Guiseppe Orsi, chairman of AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica, on charges of paying bribes to win the VVIP chopper deal with the Indian Air Force.
This led to the UPA government putting a hold on the deal, as the then Defence Minister AK Antony ordered a CBI probe into the matter.
In 2014, the UPA government cancelled the deal with AgustaWestland on grounds of the integrity pact being violated. Most of the money paid for the deal is said to have been recovered.
Giuseppe Orsi, the powerful former chief of Finmeccanica, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Bruno Spagnolini — who headed chopper division AgustaWestland — has been given a four-year jail term. The court also ordered the two executives to pay 7.5 million euros ($8.5 million), a sum corresponding to the amount deemed to have been allegedly paid in bribes, as per the news.
Hope you now know what was the AgustaWestland chopper deal, scam and reason why the deal was dropped.
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