Finmeccanica CEO Arrested On Indian Copter Bribe Charge

International media report that Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi has been arrested by Italian police on charges of subsidiary company AgustaWestland paying a bribe to the Indian government to swing a 2010 deal for 12 AW101 VVIP transport helicopters, the first of which (see photo) arrived in India in December last year. Here’s a run-through of earlier posts on the controversy:
In October 2012, AgustaWestland denied all wrongdoing, and said it had not engaged middlemen of any kind for the deal.
In October 2012, Headlines Today reported on an ‘Indian connection’ in the AgustaWestland deal.
A day earlier, the Indian MoD began an investigation into allegations that surfaced after a series of reports in The Indian Express and Headlines Today on the investigation in Italy. I reported at the time that the investigations could also impinge on the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition. Turns out, that was correct.
In April last year, the Indian government ordered the Indian Embassy in Rome to acquire more details about the Italian investigation. The Indian defence minister subsequently informed Parliament that the Italian investigation did not pertain to the Indian deal. The arrest of Orsi today throws up several questions on why the Indian government hasn’t shown more alacrity to investigate the allegations.
In Feb 2010, the Indian government signed a $770-million deal for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 VVIP transport helicopters for the Indian Air Force. A Mail Today report stated that the Indian government had pushed the deal through with a list of deviations.

17 thoughts on “Finmeccanica CEO Arrested On Indian Copter Bribe Charge”

  1. "He paid bribe"…"He paid bribe"…"He paid bribe"… Well now we all know that, what would be more interesting to know is to WHOM did he pay the bribe.

  2. No wonder that the defence minister in UPA-II tried to brush this under the carpet as it was the same political party's previous government which had concluded the deal.

  3. Looks like the MOD has been caught with their pants down.

    Is anyone surprised ? Corruption in Italy is commonplace. No wonder we are sourcing so many things from them … Heck even basic rifles for the army will be Italian imports now.

    Wondering why we have a soft spot for Italy right from Bofors days?

  4. so turns out… every foreign… arms deal… there are… ravi rishis… natarajans… tejinders… zealously at work…

  5. Someone will take the rap for it. And then in another couple of years will be "rehabilitated" with a cabinet posting ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. There is so much focus on who paid the bribe, but no one has been, and probably will never be, arrested or tried for receiving the bribe.

  7. A VVIP helicopter deal isn't going to seriously hurt our defense preparedness. At most the "VVIPs" will have to hitch a ride on regular chopper.

  8. Hats off to Italian mainos… clean masks Manmohan and Antony in chairs of responsibility and ruthlessly loot the nation under their cover.

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