Chopper scam: Middleman Christian Michel's driver spills the beans
Investigators claim Narayan Bahadur revealed India contacts, funds links
New Delhi: Investigators have got some ‘vital’ leads on the Indian contacts and fund sources of Christian Michel, an alleged defence middleman, after interrogating his local driver here in connection with the money laundering probe in the nearly R3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.
Officials said Michel’s driver, Narayan Bahadur, was questioned at length by ED sleuths in the last few days and he has divulged vital information about contacts of the British national, who has emerged as the crucial link in the case where agencies are probing alleged payment of kickbacks that helped swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland for supply of 12 choppers for flying VVIPs.
They claimed the driver was getting money through global wire fund transfer services till recently and this could help investigators in locating the current operations and activities of Michel against whom both the ED and CBI have obtained Interpol Red Corner Notices for arrest.
Meanwhile, Public Accounts Committee of Parliament headed by senior Congress leader KV Thomas, which was reconstituted last week, is likely to take up the contentious AgustaWestland case, an issue which has created a political firestorm both within and outside Parliament.
Parrikar fires fresh salvo
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday said that all those who were linked to the tainted deal were given ‘good positions’ following their retirement.
“Many people who had some links with Agusta, I am not saying illegitimate links, but some links with Agusta procurement and supply, were given good positions,” he said.