Indian government provided consular access to British High Commission to access UK businessman Christian Michel, alleged middleman in AgustaWestland chopper case who brought to India from UAE after extradition process on December 4.
“Our staff are supporting a British man who is detained in India, and have visited him to check his welfare,” Asian News International (ANI) reported citing British high commission statement.
The UK government earlier requested the Indian government to access Michel Christian, 57, the alleged middleman in the Rs 36 billion VVIP chopper agreement signed and scraped by the Indian government.
The UK national Michel was extradited from UAE after necessary legal proceedings on December 4. He is one among the three middlemen being investigated by Indian investigators in AgustaWestland chopper case.
India’s federal law enforcement and economic intelligence agency the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received Rs 2.25bn from the firm, AgustaWestland.
Michel is one among the three middlemen being investigated in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and CBI.
Both the CBI and the ED had notified an Interpol red corner notice against Michel earlier.
India on January 1, 2014, had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on an alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 4.23bn by it for securing the agreement.
The federal probe agency CBI has alleged that there was an estimated loss of Rs 26.66bn to the exchequer in the deal that was agreed on February 8, 2010, to supply VVIP choppers worth €556.262m.