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I-T department conducts raids at 30 locations in AgustaWestland scam

NEW DELHI:  The Income Tax Department is conducting searches at 30 locations in Delhi-NCR and Pune in connection with the `3,600- crore VVIP AgustaWestland chopper deal. Multiple teams of Income Tax officials conducted searches at offices and properties belonging to Sushen Mohan Gupta and Pune-based industrialist Dinesh Munot in connection with the chopper deal case, sources from the I-T department said on Thursday.

“The department has seized some documents, hard drives. The searches are underway,” an I-T official said without divulging further details.Sushen Mohan Gupta was arrested on March 26 last year by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of money laundering. A special CBI court had in June granted him bail in connection with the case.

The searches were the result of certain disclosures made by Rajiv Saxena, one of the accused in the scam, who was arrested by the ED after he was deported from Dubai last year.In December, the Income Tax Department raided the Alankrit group in connection with alleged tax evasion and money laundering in the AgustaWestland scam.

The department confiscated documents during a search on the private firm which, officials claimed, may eventually disclose the secret of the commission paid to the Indian counterpart during the chopper deal. In January 2014, India had scrapped a contract with AgustaWestland, for supplying 12 choppers over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks.

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