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ED arrests Gautam Khaitan in VVIP chopper scam

Enforcement Directorate today arrested Gautam Khaitan in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam.

The agency, which is trying to track the alleged kickbacks of Rs 360 crore from the deal, made its first arrest in the case today. 

Yesterday, it had searched two properties of Khaitan in the national capital.

“Khaitan has been arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is required for further detailed interrogation in the case,” ED sources said.

The agency, after searches, had seized jewellery worth Rs 1 crore and impounded some “important” financial documents from his premises.

This is the first big action by the ED in this case after it registered a criminal FIR in July this year against Khaitan, former IAF chief S P Tyagi and 19 others to probe the alleged kickbacks.

Khaitan was on the board of Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix, which is allegedly a front company for the financial dealings of the chopper deal.

According to CBI and other agencies, they had detected that funds for the particular deal were allegedly routed through this firm and few others.

A reference to Khaitan was also reportedly made in the Italian prosecutor’s report filed in a court in Italy.

Khiatan, however, has refuted all the allegations made against him.

He earlier been quizzed by the CBI in this case. The ED had registered a case in this deal under PMLA, taking cognisance of a more-than-a-year-old CBI FIR.

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