latest

PM Modi "Like Batman": BJP Brags About Agusta Extraditions

The VVIP chopper case involves allegations of bribes paid to Indian leaders and officials to push the contract for 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to be used by the country's top politicians.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had achieved what only Batman ever has, with the "swift extradition" of two wanted men in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, the ruling BJP said in a tweet this morning. The two accused were flown in from Dubai on a special flight yesterday, nearly two months after the extradition of alleged Agusta middleman Christian Michel.

Rajiv Saxena, a Dubai-based accountant, and corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar were brought back to India reportedly by a team of the Enforcement Directorate, foreign ministry officials and Research and Analysis Wing or R&AW officials.

The BJP tweeted: "Last time we saw such swift extradition, it was Batman extraditing Lau from Hong Kong and delivering him to Jim Gordon. "Everything's impossible until somebody does it". This time it's PM Narendra Modi."

The VVIP chopper case involves allegations of bribes paid to Indian leaders and officials to push the contract for 12 AgustaWestland helicopters to be used by the country's top politicians. The deal was signed in 2010, when the Congress-led government was in power. In 2014, the government scrapped the contract amid these allegations.

Rajiv Saxena, who stays in Dubai's posh Palm Jumeirah, had been summoned multiple times by the Enforcement Directorate in the chopper case. He faces a non-bailable warrant. The Enforcement Directorate alleges that Rajiv Saxena, his wife Shivani Saxena, and their two Dubai-based firms routed "the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others." Shivani Saxena was arrested from the Chennai airport in 2017 and is currently out on bail.

The other accused, Deepak Talwar, had fled to Dubai after the Indian agencies started probing his role for concealing income of more than Rs. 1,000 crore as well as facilitating aviation contracts during the previous Congress-led rule.