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UK to help India in chopper scam investigation: PM

Posted on Feb 19, 06:55PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 19 : Britain will help India in investigations into the alleged AgustaWestland chopper deal controversy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Tuesday.

"I conveyed to Prime Minister Cameron our serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing 2010 contract for AgustaWestland copters," Singh told reporters after meeting with Britain Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We have sought full assistance from UK PM Cameron and he has assured me of the cooperation of his government in the investigations," he said.

The controversy started after Italian agencies arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi for suspected corruption to seal the deal.

A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and defence ministry officials left for Italy Monday to get more information on the alleged kickbacks in the $750 million (Rs.3,600 crore) chopper deal.

The defence ministry had last week initiated action for cancellation of the chopper contract.

It also issued a formal show-cause notice to AgustaWestland to explain within a week why the contract should not be cancelled.