Agusta scam.

Agusta scam.

Agusta ‘middleman’ sent money to ex-Army employee’s daughter: CBI

Thakar retired as Southern Army Command chief; joined Gupta firm after retiring

Agency Report | New Delhi | 6 April, 2021 | 11:00 PM

Sushen Mohan Gupta, who is currently in the limelight for allegedly receiving one million euros from Dassault Aviation, had transferred money thrice into the account of the daughter of his employee, Lt Gen Balraj Singh Takhar (retd), as per the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charge sheet in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP AgustaWestland chopper case.

The revelations against Gupta, who is one of the alleged middlemen in the case, were made in Takhar’s statement, which is part of the 12,421-page charge sheet filed in a Delhi court in October last year by the CBI.

The CBI said that in his statement to the agency, Thakar, who retired as Southern Army Command chief, stated that he later joined DMG Finance and Investment Pvt Ltd for coffee estate management in Kerala and real estate management across India.

In his statement to the CBI, he also said that he knew Gupta and his brother Sushant Mohan Gupta, both sons of Dev Mohan Gupta.

“Thakar said that he was a Director in Kairali Coffee Estate and American Hotels managed by a family of Dev Mohan Gupta. He never attended any board meeting of these two companies and his job was land acquisition on behalf of the companies and to manage the coffee estates owned by the company in Kerala,” the CBI said.

Thakar, in his statement, told the CBI that his daughter Nimrata Singh Thakar was settled in New York since 2002-03 and he has been paying her money since 2008 as she requires to look after her children.

“Thakar stated that on one occasion he had requested Gupta to help him in supporting his daughter financially as he believed him to be benevolent enough to understand the situation of his daughter… As requested, Gupta transferred approximately $25,000 on three occasions to the bank account of my daughter Nimrata maintained with HSBC,” the CBI said.

Thakar also told the CBI that he believed that this amount would be adjusted in the payments being made to him by Gupta in lieu of the services rendered by him to the company. “However, to date no amount has been adjusted by Gupta,” he said.

The CBI said Thakar also acknowledged the amount of $25,000 from the bank account of Interstellar Technologies with Barclays Bank Mauritius to the bank account of his daughter on May 28, 2008.

The CBI also pointed out that Thakar stated that his daughter also received an amount of $9,500 on June 6, 2012, from Interstellar Technologies and $15,000 on January 12, 2009, into her bank account.

The CBI also said that Thakar said that he was not privy to Interstellar Technologies Ltd and was also not aware of its relations with Gupta with the company.

Gupta was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 26, 2019, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the AgustaWestland case.

The ED, in its probe, has highlighted that Gupta was in active connivance with Gautam Khaitan, was instrumental in controlling the flow of proceeds of crime from Interstellar Technologies Ltd and kickbacks have been transferred to different entities or persons having direct links with him.

It also alleged that Gupta was giving instructions to various entities and individuals having direct link with him, including for money transfers to his family members, employees etc. and used to give instructions for this from his email ID.

The ED further alleged that Rajiv Saxena, who was extradited to India from the UAE in January 2019, has furnished two diaries in original, pen drive and certain documents belonging to Gupta, which were kept in his custody for safekeeping and the contents of transactions as recorded in the diaries, pen drive and documents are corroborated with information received from Letter of Request (LR) from Mauritius and Singapore.

Fresh controversy over Gupta erupted on Sunday after a French publication alleged that the manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft, Dassault Aviation, had paid about one million Euros to Defsys Solutions, a Karnataka-based company owned by Gupta, for 50 models of the aircraft which were to be given as “gifts”.

“Gifts” by defence companies are treated as a serious matter in France and had led to the company being questioned. (IANS)