Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi last Wednesday became the first IAF chief to be booked by the CBI—along with 12 others—for alleged cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal and searches were carried out at 14 locations, including his residence
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued lookout notice for the former chief of the Air Force, SP Tyagi, his three cousins and five other Indians who have been named in its FIR (first information report) on alleged kickbacks received by them from AgustaWestland in the Rs3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.
Sources in the CBI said the notice was issued at airports to prevent them from leaving the country.
Air Chief Marshal (retd) SP Tyagi last Wednesday became the first IAF chief to be booked by the CBI—along with 12 others—for alleged cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal and searches were carried out at 14 locations, including his residence.
The former IAF chief, his cousins—Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep and European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke were among the 13 individuals named in the FIR as accused.
The CBI alleged that during his tenure as Air Chief Marshal, the IAF agreed “to reduce the (mandatory) service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 m to 4,500 m”, a source in the CBI said.
It alleged that reduction of service ceiling—maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally—allowed the AgustaWestland to come into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids. Two new names, which were not part of the CBI’s preliminary inquiry, have also been included in the FIR —Satish Bagrodia, brother of former Union minister Santosh Bagrodia, and IDS Infotech CMD Pratap Aggarwal, it said.
The central bank said based on observations reported in its Annual Financial Inspection of HSBC for 2012, it would take further action against the lender, which is under the scanner for alleged violations of money-laundering and KYC norms
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that it would take further action against HSBC based on the observations made during its Annual Financial Inspection (AFI) for 2012.
Replying to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Amitabh Thakur and social activist Dr Nutan Thakur, the central bank said the matter was examined during its AFI of HSBC.
The RBI, however, has refused to share the findings of the AFI report. It said, “The matter was examined during AFI of the bank, however, the findings of the same are received by us in a fiduciary capacity and the disclosure of the same may prejudicially affect the economic interest of the bank (HSBC). Hence the same is exempted from the disclosure in terms of Section 8(1)(d) and (e) of the RTI Act, 2005.”
Last year, the RBI started scrutinising anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) systems of Standard Chartered and HSBC. Besides, the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) had also initiated a fact-finding exercise related to HSBC’s operations in India and its compliance to AML and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
The RBI was also seeking details from British financial sector regulator Financial Services Authority (FSA) about the two UK-based global banking giants, which have a significant presence in India and whose outsourcing of key oversight jobs to India had come under the US scanner in separate probes related to issues like money laundering and terror financing.
Last year, the Income-Tax (I-T) department probing the secret list of account holders in the Geneva branch of HSBC Bank, had approached Swiss revenue authorities for banking data of certain individuals after investigations showed some of them reportedly had other accounts under fictitious names.
India had obtained data of over 700 HSBC accounts from the French government channels last year.
Earlier, in July 2012, the US Senate's Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations said HSBC was found to be doing business with Al Rajhi Bank, whose key founder was an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda, and also have provided US dollars and services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh despite their links to terrorist financing.
The bank had also been accused of indulging in various questionable transactions with entities from countries like Mexico, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, Burma, Cayman Islands, Japan and Russia.
After the report, HSBC paid a fine of $28 million to Mexican authorities for non-compliance with money laundering controls. The money-laundering issue stemmed from HSBC’s acquisition of Mexican company Grupo Financiero Bital in 2002.
A US Senate investigative committee reported that in 2007 and 2008 HSBC Mexico sent about $7 billion in cash to the United States. The committee report says that amount of cash indicated illegal drug proceeds.
HSBC Mexico acknowledged that it failed to report 39 suspicious transactions and had been late in reporting 1,729 others.
If Nifty goes below 5840, it may break the recent low of 5,664