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Chief of Italian company arrested for kickbacks in India copter deal

Posted on Feb 13, 10:34AM | UNI

New Delhi, Feb 12 : The Chief of Italian Defence group Finmeccanica was arrested today in Italy in a case of alleged kickbacks relating to the sale of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to India for use by VVIPs.

The Defence Ministry ordered a CBI probe after India did not receive any input to the information it had sought regarding the Rs 4,000 crore deal and kickbacks of about Rs 300 crore.

Reports here said Chief Executive and Chairman of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested after investigators found him guilty of having paid kickbacks to secure the 560 million euro (749.2 million dollars deal) for sale of 12 helicopters to India.

The first helicopters were due to be delivered by December 2012 after the contract was awarded in 2010.

Reports received here from Milan said three other people had been placed under house arrest.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said the Ministry had, in association with the External Affairs Ministry, sought information from the governments of Italy and the UK.

''However, no specific inputs were received substantiating the allegations...Since no specific input has been received so far from the two Governments, the Ministry of Defence has decided to

refer the case to CBI for inquiry,'' the spokesman said.