See: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-spy-who-cam-in-from-switzerland-for.html The spy who cam in from Switzerland for an Indian deal — Italian investigators
See http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2013/02/italy-defence-firm-chief-arrested-for.html Italy defence firm chief arrested for India bribe
Did Indian Brigadier demand bribe to swing copter deal for AgustaWestland? Probe documents say so
SHIV AROOR | New Delhi, October 26, 2012 | 17:03
The name of a serving Indian Army officer, Brigadier V.S. Saini, has been discovered in a document that Italian investigators have found in the course of their inquiries into possible kickbacks or commissions paid by Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland (AW).
A memorandum document found at AW consultant Guido Haschke’s mother’s residence in Italy mentions that the serving Brigadier, who oversaw field evaluation trials for an Indian competition to purchase 197 light reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters, had made contact with the company’s consultants in early 2010, specifically offering to swing the deal AgustaWestland’s way in exchange for a percentage consideration on the final deal value, which worked out to nearly $6 million.
As it turned out, AgustaWestland was eliminated from the competition on technical grounds a few weeks thereafter and the competition remains un-concluded with the current face-off between European firm Eurocopter and Russia’s Kamov.
The Indian Army told Headlines Today: “An effort is on already at the MoD (ministry of defence) level to ascertain all facts. There will be a full inquiry at some stage. Right now, information is being gathered.”
While Headlines Today made attempts to contact Brigadier Saini, serving army officers were not permitted to make statements to the press and were required route any views through the army headquarters only.
The purportedly incriminating document, accessed by Headlines Today, also has a note suggesting that the Brigadier was in a “hurry” to conclude any commission deal, and that he expected to hear back from the agents 48 hours after his offer was made.
Documents found along with Guido Haschke’s memorandum also allude to a meeting in Italy with two Indian nationals Praveen Bakshi and Gautam Khaitan.
Bakshi — CEO of Chandigarh-based firm Aero-Matrix of which Haschke is a director — told Headlines Today over the phone, “Ours is a fully transparent organisation. There is no question of any wrongdoing. Anyone can go through our records.”
While Khaitan — lawyer for Aero-Matrix — was out of the country, a representative at his office, Arihant Jain, said, “We are lawyers for Aero-Matrix. There is no question of any wrong dealings. Names can emerge in any documents. That does not establish anything.”
Italian authorities had recently apprehended AgustaWestland’s former commercial director Paolo Pozzessere over alleged malpractice in two deals with Brazil and Panama. His arrest followed the arrest of Haschke, the consultant whose documents mention the Indian Brigadier and the other two Indians.
Italian investigators are steeped in probing several allegations against AgustaWestland, specifically pertaining to kickbacks paid to agents to influence those deals. Documents in an Italian court, also in possession of Headlines Today, suggest that â‚¬51 million commission might have been paid to as many as three different individuals to push through a 2010 deal for 12 VVIP AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.
India, incidentally, has already begun paying for those helicopters and the first aircraft would be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the United Kingdom for acceptance tests in November.
However, Defence Minister A.K. Antony noted earlier this year that if any malpractices were detected, strong action would be taken.
“It may be recalled that the contract for the procurement of the helicopters contains the standard provisions against use of undue influence and employment of agents and payment of agency commission. A Pre-Contract Integrity Pact has also been signed between AgustaWestland and MoD. Any such complaint or allegation received will be investigated and the contractual provisions invoked, in case any wrongdoing is established, in addition to action that may be required under law is established, in addition to action that may be required under law,” he had said.
Sale of Augusta Westland helicopters to the Indian Air Force under scanner INDIA, Posted on Oct 25, 2012 at 12:25pm IST
New Delhi: The sale of Augusta Westland helicopters to the Air Force is being probed for possible kickbacks. Italian authorities have reportedly recorded conversations between the India head of the helicopter manufacturer, Finmeccanica, and a middleman.
The deal to purchase 12 VVIP helicopters for Rs 3500 crores is already under a cloud with the Ministry of Defence seeking probe reports from Italian authorities. Italian prosecutors have been investigating a series of corruption charges against Finmeccanica.
They say they have strong proof of the commission paid to middleman Guido Haschke through Mauritius and Tunisia. Swiss-based consultant Haschke was paid 51 million euros to swing the Indian deal. They also claim to have taped conversations between Haschke and some Indian nationals. Haschke and and his partner own a Chandigarh-based services company called Aeromatrix.
Records confirm tender was altered, allowing AgustaWestland to qualify
Manu Pubby Posted online: Mon Dec 03 2012, 01:39 hrs
New Delhi : In the first corroboration of the findings of the Italian probe into corruption allegations in the VVIP helicopter deal of 2010, it has emerged that critical technical requirements in the contract were tweaked by India, allowing Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland to enter the bidding competition.
In the first tender floated to acquire 12 helicopters for ferrying VVIPs, the Italian firm could not make the cut as it did not meet the requirement of being able to fly at 6,000 m. This, it has been found, was lowered drastically by the Defence Ministry in a second tender in 2006, helping the AW 101 chopper qualify.
This modification corroborates the events mentioned in the Italian investigation report. As reported by The Indian Express, the confession of a business associate of Guido Haschke, the alleged middleman in the deal, made before Italian prosecutors alleges that while the AW 101 did not qualify initially, technical requirements were tweaked after Haschke came into the picture and allegedly used his influence in India.
After the Defence Ministry first announced the technical requirements, only two helicopters qualified — the Russian Mi-17 and a Eurocopter model. Subsequently, the Russian aircraft was also disqualified on some other technical grounds, resulting in only one vendor remaining. After the Special Protection Group in charge of VVIP security redflagged this saying that the single-vendor situation would pose hurdles in procurement, the altitude requirements were tweaked to say the chopper should be able to fly at 4,500 m at least.
This change allowed AgustaWestland to present its AW 101 helicopter for the contract. As it turned out during the trials, the AW 101 managed to fly at 4,572 m. Its only competitor, Sikorsky, lost out as it could not perform optimally at the high altitude.
The Defence Ministry, which steered the acquisition, did not respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by The Indian Express. But officials claimed that the altitude requirements were changed as the earlier ones were too stringent and as a practical issue considering that VVIP choppers don’t require to operate above 4,500 m. None of the helipads where VVIPs are expected to land is located above this altitude, officials said.
As reported earlier, in a detailed testimony before the judicial authority of Naples, a business associate of Haschke had explained how he put Haschke and his partner Gerosa in touch with AgustaWestland in 2006 to facilitate the Indian contract.
In the 568-page investigation report — a copy of which is with The Indian Express — the associate, business consultant Carmelo Messina, says Haschke was keen to get in touch with AgustaWestland as he “claimed he had deep knowledge of the Indian market, which he developed with his partner Carlo Gerosa”.
Messina, who was also in touch with top AgustaWestland officials, said the company figured out after the contact was made that its choppers would not qualify for the contract.
“They came to know that actually the helicopters AgustaWestland could offer were not compatible with the technical features of the helicopters the Indian Ministry of Defence was looking for and that would have been the object of the future tender,” Messina has said.
The confession says Haschke then managed to get the requirements changed to accommodate the Italian company’s product.
“He told me that he managed to convince the Indians, or actually the Ministry of Defence, to reconsider the features of the helicopters so that Italian helicopters too could take part in the tender,” Messina says in the confession. “After doing some evaluations, it was found that Haschke was right and that the Indian Ministry of Defence had really modified the technical features of the helicopters it needed so that AgustaWestland could participate.”
Only three companies — AgustaWestland, Russia’s Kazan and American Sikorsky — took part in the final RFP sent in 2006. While the Russians were disqualified apparently after not including the earnest money in their response, trials were held over the next two years on the AgustaWestland and Sikorsky machines before the contract was finally bagged by the Italians in 2010.
Indian Air Force Signs €560 Million Contract For 12 AW101 Helicopters – Strengthening AgustaWestland’s Growth Strategy For the Indian Market
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that a contract has been signed by the Government of India for the acquisition of twelve AW101 helicopters that will perform government transport duties. The contract, valued at around € 560 million, includes an extensive five year logistic support service and initial aircrew and technician training. Over 180 AW101 helicopters have been ordered by customers around the world so far to perform a wide range of government, public service and military missions. The AW101 has logged nearly 200,000 flight hours in service in Italy, UK, Denmark, Portugal, Japan and Canada whilst delivering exceptional performance and high levels of safety.
Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland said “This significant order by the Indian Air Force to meet its government transport helicopter requirement confirms the correct vision and strategy of AgustaWestland in India. Several years ago we identified India as one of the pillars of our expansion strategy, from both the market and the industrial points of view. Today we have a significant and growing presence in both the military and commercial markets Additionally we now have strong industrial relations with Tata Son, with whom we have established a Joint Venture initially for the production of the AW119 Koala but soon this will become a wider platform for our growth in the region. The particularly good personal relations with Ratan Tata, who recently visited AgustaWestland at Cascina Costa, will further enhance the joint commitment to the expansion of the helicopter industry in India to satisfy various requirements which are estimated to be valued at €5-6 billion in the short to medium term.”
AgustaWestland is proud to have been doing business in India for almost 40 years with the delivery, in 1971, of an initial batch of Sea King helicopters to the Indian Navy for anti-submarine warfare. AgustaWestland continues to provide support, training and upgrade services to the Indian Navy for its fleet of Sea King helicopters. In 2005 AgustaWestland sold its first AW109 Power helicopter to the Government of Rajasthan and since then sales of its civil product range have taken-off with orders being placed for over 30 aircraft including additional AW109 Powers, the new Grand light twin engine helicopter, the AW119Ke single engine and the AW139 medium twin. Recently orders in the commercial market have been made by AgustaWestland’s authorized distributor, Sharp Ocean, for two VIP-configured Grand New light twins and one AW119Ke, marking the entrance of the state-of-the-art Grand New type in the country. With a growing fleet and order book AgustaWestland has also expanded its service network in India to deliver greater levels of local customer service and support through OSS Air Management Pvt.Ltd and Air Works India Engineering Pvt.Ltd, to service and support AgustaWestland’s range of modern high performance commercial helicopters. Last month AgustaWestland and Tata Sons signed a Shareholders’ Agreement for the formation of an Indian joint venture company which will establish in India a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter. The AW119 is also the AgustaWestland contender for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) programme. An AW119 demonstrator is currently conducting a series of demonstrations to the Indian Armed Force’s as part of the evaluation process for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s RSH programme. The AW119 has already demonstrated its outstanding capabilities operating at altitudes in excess of 6,000 m in the Himalayas and will carry out further demonstrations in hot environmental conditions in the coming months. Additional Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard helicopter requirements for light observation, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, combat, border and coastal patrol duties allows AgustaWestland to foresee a potential market worth approximately €5-6 billion for over 600 military helicopters in India in the next ten years.