The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged defence agent, in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case. The agency has got his four-day custody for questioning.
Mr. Gupta has been arrested on the basis of disclosures made by another accused, Rajiv Saxena, who was recently deported from the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Saxena has now turned approver, expressing willingness to assist the Directorate in identification of others involved in allegedly bribing public servants for swinging the ₹3,700-crore deal in favour of AgustaWestland.
The alleged defence agent was instrumental in the routing of funds through several overseas and domestic companies. The Directorate suspects his links with another accused Gautam Khaitan, who has been accused of floating companies in several countries to facilitate laundering of the funds received from AugustaWestland.
In his statement before a magistrate, Mr. Saxena is said to have revealed several names, including that of Mr. Gupta. He has also provided leads to the ED on the money trail. During the initial phase of investigations, the Directorate had recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. However, the extent of his alleged involvement was then not clear. His role is also being suspected in other defence-related deals, according to the agency.
In December last year, the ED had arrested alleged middleman Christian Michel after his extradition from the UAE in the AgustaWestland case. He had received 42.27 million euros through his companies for routing the kickbacks, as alleged.