India is on an extradition spree, the Modi government is leaving no stone unturned to bring back wanted fugitives who have fled the country after allegedly committing the crime. After securing extradition of Christian Michel, British middlemen accused of handling and routing over 60 million euros for kickbacks in the deal for AgustaWestland helicopters, last year, now Indian authorities on Wednesday evening successfully managed to extradite Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, co-accused in the AgustaWestland scam, from UAE to India. The ED is investigating his role under money laundering charges. He is alleged to have played a key role in laundering kickbacks from the Indian Air Force’s deal with British manufacturer AgustaWestland.
Along with Rajiv Saxena, a corporate aviation lobbyist, Deepak Talwar, has also been deported to India. According to media reports, Deepak Talwar was wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore obtained through the foreign funding route. According to a Business Standard report, Talwar’s role in some aviation deals during the UPA government’s era is also under scanner. Both Deepak Talwar and Rajiv Saxena are in the custody of ED and will be produced before the court today.
Deepak Talwar, a corporate lobbyist, to be brought to India along with Rajiv Saxena (an accused in AgustaWestland case) by the plane of the government of India. Enforcement Directorate to take custody. pic.twitter.com/RwBMQ0AiEU
— ANI (@ANI) January 30, 2019
According to the Business Standard report, the ED had claimed that Rajiv and his wife Shivani Saxena, who was arrested in July 2017 and now out on bail, routed “the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others” through their two Dubai-based firms– Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai and Ms Matrix Holdings. The ED in its investigation found that “Agusta Westland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia. These companies further siphoned off the said money/ proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and others which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others.” It also said that Rajiv is “beneficial owner” of Interstellar Technologies Ltd. It had also said the couple has remitted/ transferred a “huge amount of money” through their Dubai-based companies to various other accounts.
Extradition of corrupt was unthinkable in the past, Modi’s diplomacy deserves credit for the recent extradition. Recently, the Indian authorities have successfully secured extradition and brought back AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel. He was brought to India from Dubai in December, last year. It was the first successful extradition ever since India has ushered in similar proceedings against economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi. The News18 has quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that the trio would follow Michel soon. In December last year, a court in the UK ordered Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India on Dec 9, 2018. On his visit to the United Kingdom, PM Modi negotiated the extradition proceedings of Vijay Mallya with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The incumbent Modi government is serious about bringing the fugitives criminals to book, and it is clearly evident from their actions.