VVIP chopper deal: Interpol notices issued against 2 Italians

Interpol has issued red-corner notices (RCNs) against two Italian nationals, alleged to be the middlemen in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal from AgustaWestland, on charges of money laundering pressed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Officials said the global warrant for arrest has been issued against Carlo Gerosa and Guido Ralph Haschke after a special court here had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against them on the plea of the ED some time back.

An RCN, according to Interpol, is issued "to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action" in a criminal case probe.

The latest notice against the duo states the foreign nationals are "wanted by the judicial authorities of India for prosecution/to serve a sentence" under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Another accused of the ED in the same case, British national Christian Michel James, has already been notified for arrest by the Interpol earlier this month on the request of the CBI which is also probing the case.

Sources privy to the case said while ED had also obtained an NBW and requested for an RCN against James, the Interpol warrant issued on the behest of the CBI "may well serve their purpose as well."

"Charges under PMLA may be inserted in the already published Interpol notice against Michel. With these two RCNs coming, the agencies have obtained global warrants against whom they wanted in their respective probes till now," they said.

While making a plea for the world-wide warrant, the ED had told the court that the Italians were required to be interrogated on many aspects of the case after its probe established their role in the case.

ED had earlier claimed in the court that AgustaWestland had allegedly paid a "kickback" of around 70 million Euros, out of which around 30 million Euros was paid to James and his firm Global Services FZE, Dubai, while Gerosa and Haschke had cornered the rest.

ED, in July 2014, had lodged a separate case under PMLA against several persons after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR registered earlier.

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