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Updated: February 12, 2013 19:21 IST

Italy defence firm CEO held on graft charge

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File photo of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi.
File photo of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi.

Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi is alleged to have paid $670 million in bribes for the sale of 12 helicopters to the government of India

Italian police on Tuesday arrested the chief executive of Italy’s largest defence and aerospace group as part of an investigation into alleged international corruption.

Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi is alleged to have paid $670 million in bribes for the sale of 12 helicopters to the government of India. Prosecutors in the Busto Arsizio north of Milan ordered a search of Mr. Orsi’s home, as well as the headquarters of Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland helicopter division.

Authorities also ordered the house arrest of AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini.

Finmeccanica, which is 30-per cent government owned and once considered a jewel among Italian companies, said in a statement that the company will continue operating as usual and expressed support for the executives. The statement called the measures against Mr. Orsi and Mr. Spagnolini “precautionary.”

Mr. Orsi has repeatedly denied paying any bribes.

The company and its executives have been the target of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged corruption in the awarding of international contracts. Mr. Orsi replaced the former CEO who resigned under government pressure.

While Italy was able to arrest the CEO of its government defense company for having offered bribes, Indian government is still counting the chickens in the case of its own CEO of BEML Mr VRSNatarajan who was caught on more serious charges some 8 months back in June 2012. Hindu unearthed the scam of this man in ERP company case, Tatra truck deal, allowing axle to be made outside BEML and more seriously offering bribe to defence officers for passing quality checks for substandard trucks and many others. CBI once again was supposed to enquire this scandal, but political connections will ensure that justice is not brought about in this case also. Now this chopper deal will also face the consequence.

from:  MVJRao
Posted on: Feb 14, 2013 at 14:00 IST

Like BOFORS case this case too would surely be wound up/closed after incurring collosal amount of tax payers' hard earned money. Readers would be unhappy to know that Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce visited 72 countries in about 372 days i.e a day in three days during his current tenure wasting criminally taxpayers' hard earned money amounting to Rs. 11 crore excluding Air fares. Who cares?

from:  Amrit Patel
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 06:37 IST

I have a simple question. Can PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi please let the Indian people know who in the UPA govt got the bribes from Finmeccanica for sale of the choppers to India.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Feb 12, 2013 at 19:51 IST

correct me if I am wrong, $670 million equals to 3600 crores. I took me
two full minutes to figure out the amount in rupees.

from:  rajarajan
Posted on: Feb 12, 2013 at 19:32 IST
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