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National News Sourced Wired

VIP chopper scam: Bank accounts of ex- IAF chief Tyagi frozen

New Delhi, April 23 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday froze the bank accounts of former Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal (retired) S.P. Tyagi and other accused in connection with the VVIP chopper scam.

Air Chief Marshal (retired) Tyagi has been charged with corruption and conspiracy by the CBI, which says he and his three cousins were bribed to swing a 12-helicopter contract in favour of Anglo-Italian defence firm AugustaWestland (AW).

The Tyagis have denied any wrongdoing in the deal.

Those whose accounts have been frozen include the Indian agents of Finmeccanica, the parent company of AW.

This move is significant in that it is perhaps an indication that the CBI, which so far has not admitted to having clinching evidence that the kickbacks went all the way to the former Air Chief Marshal, could have found new leads in the case.

The CBI says that Air Chief Marshal (retired) Tyagi is being investigated for misusing his official position for the AW deal, signed in 2010, and worth Rs. 3,600 crores.

The agency alleges that it has found documents that suggest that he changed the Air Force’s requirements for the helicopters to match AW’s offerings, allowing it to beat two other competitors.

Air Chief Marshal (retired) Tyagi has pointed out in his defence that the contract was signed three years after he retired.

The inquiry in India came after an Italian investigation disclosing that AW and Finmeccanica had paid bribes worth nearly Rs. 350 crores through a complex web of companies and middlemen to land the deal.(ANI with inputs)