Dubai-based woman held in AgustaWestland case
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Dubai resident Shivani Saxena in connection with the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, in what is being seen as a breakthrough in the efforts to identify the recipients of kickbacks. Shivani, wife of Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena and a resident of Palm Jumeira, Dubai, has been accused of laundering the proceeds of crime in connection with the bribes received in the VVIP helicopter deal. She had been called here for questioning.
Sources claimed Shivani and her husband used their companies to route the money which came as kickbacks from Augusta middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, besides helping the suspects acquire properties and shares. “She can take us closer to the people who received money for facilitating the sale of AgustaWestland helicopters during the UPA regime”, said a senior ED source.
Shivani Saxena is a “director of UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings, through which proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties and shares, etc”, a senior ED source said. The ED and CBI are hopeful of mapping the moneytrail shortly.
The ED probe has revealed that AgustaWestland, UK, paid 58 million euros as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia. “These companies further siphoned off the said money and proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius and others, which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai, Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others,” according to the ED.
Investigations show, ED sources claim, that Rajeev Saxena is the beneficial owner of Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius. Shivani and her husband are partners and directors in UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings Limited, Dubai. Both these companies received proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank accounts from Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius.
It was also revealed that Shivani and Rajeev Saxena have transferred huge amounts of money through their companies at Dubai to various other accounts. Shivani was produced in the court of special judge, PMLA, in Delhi, and remanded to four days of ED custody. The ED had approached the UAE, Mauritius, Singapore, Italy, Tunisia, UK, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland seeking details of the companies which were used to transfer the bribe money, which was ultimately meant for allegedly Indian politicians, bureaucrats, some private persons and former IAF chief S P Tyagi.
The CBI has already established that bribes worth Rs 452 crore, or 12% of the total value of the deal had been paid by AgustaWestland and Rs 414 crore were routed to Indian officials through a web of companies in several countries.
The probe conducted so far revealed that Gerosa and Haschke and Gautam Khaitan used a large number of companies for bringing 24.6 million euros (approximately Rs 160 crore) from IDS Tunisia. One of the companies — M/s Interstellar PTA, based in Singapore was part of the process of routing the bribe money.
It is suspected that Interstellar PTA could be linked to Interstellar Technologies, Mauritius, which received the maximum chunk of alleged bribe money — 12.40 million euros (Rs 75 crore).