The Defence Ministry has extended the ban on dealings with chopper-scam tainted firm Leonardo (earlier known as Finmecannica) for another 6 months. The NDA government had first imposed a ban on the company in 2014. The ban has been extended in light of the ongoing CBI investigations in relation to Rs 3600 crore VVIP AgustaWestland chopper scam.
Earlier the Supreme Court had put a stay on Delhi High Court order permitting Rajeev Saxena, an approver in money laundering reported in the scam, to go abroad for the treatment of blood cancer and other ailments.
The Indian helicopter bribery scandal refers to a multimillion-dollar corruption case, wherein money was paid to the middleman and Indian officials in 2006 and 2007 to purchase helicopters for high-level politicians.
Christian Michel was the arms dealer who allegedly helped AgustaWestland - owned by Italian defence company Finmeccanica- to bag the February 2010 deal for 12 AW101 choppers, mainly meant for VVIP use.
The Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016 accused him of receiving 30 million euros or about Rs 225 crore from the helicopter manufacturer for bribing Indian bureaucrats, politicians, and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials.
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