<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expanding probe into Rs 3,727-crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids at six places in Delhi and Kolkata on the premises of two businessmen — Sunil Kothari and Narendra Kumar Jain — for allegedly laundering ‘kickback’ through a layer of shell companies.The kickback was brought in by two middlemen — former IAF chief SP Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan”Searches were carried on premises of Sunil Kothari, managing director of Om Metals, in Delhi, and Narendra Kumar Jain, director of Abhinand Vanchiya, in Kolkata,” CBI stated. It further pointed out that raids were also carried out on premises of Rajesh Kumar Jain, an associate of Narendra, in Kolkata.They have laundered the money of middlemen, Tyagi brothers, through shell companies.During the search on October 31, apart from documents, Rs 55.68 lakh were seized in currency from Kothari residence in Delhi. “Also Rs 29 lakh was seized from Narendra’s residence in Kolkata,” said a CBI official. Following the cash seizure, Income Tax officials too joined the searches.Jewellery worth Rs 60 lakh from the locker of Narendra’s wife, and worth Rs 49 lakh from that of daughter-in-law were also seized, taking total seizure from Narendra’s residence to Rs 1.38 crore.Carlos extraditionThe CBI on Thursday also submitted a request for extradition of middleman Carlo Valentino Gerosa to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Gerosa was arrested by Italian authorities in October first week on the basis of an Interpol red corner notice.According to CBI sources, Gerosa can provide important clues in connection with the scam.The CBI sources also said that they are hoping Italy will extradite Gerosa to India so that probe can be carried forward. Gerosa, 70, is one of the three alleged middlemen wanted in this case and his interrogation and his statement is very important for both the ED and the CBI.The ED had notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against Gerosa and two others — British national Christian Michel James and Italian Guido Haschke — last year.The chargesheetCBI chargesheet in the case says Indian officials were paid Rs 362 crore in bribe to swing the deal in favour of UK-based AgustaWestland.The deal was signed for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010 for the communication squadron of IAF to carry the President, the PM and other VVIPs.It said during the tenure of SP Tyagi, IAF “conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP copters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres” to facilitate AgustaWestland win the contract.
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