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Agusta Westland scam: Court dismisses plea to cancel NBWs against Shravan Gupta

ANI | Updated: Dec 15, 2020 14:19 IST


New Delhi [India], December 15 (ANI): A special court in Delhi has dismissed an application seeking cancellation of non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued against Shravan Gupta, the former managing director of realty major Emmar MGF, in connection with a money laundering case related to the Agusta Westland VVIP chopper scam.
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar, in an order passed on December 5, observed that even during present proceedings, the applicant did not express intention to appear before Enforcement Directorate to join the investigation.
"He also did not appear before this court when the application was taken up for hearing. It only shows that the applicant is not willing to cooperate in the investigation," the court noted and refused to cancel the NBWs, observing it was "without any merit".
The warrant was issued against Gupta on August 29 for not joining the investigation despite receiving the summons. The court noted that it is clear the applicant has tried to evade the investigation on one pretext or another and did not join the probe despite summons.
The counsel for Gupta submitted that his client was suffering from various ailments which makes him extremely susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

Gupta was earlier questioned by the ED in 2016 in the same case. According to the ED, the fresh action against the businessman has come about after certain revelations made by other accused in the case, and some fresh evidence obtained by the agency.
The economic offences watchdog opposed the application claiming that the accused has failed to join the investigation despite service of nine summons, which it said led to the issuance of NBWs against him and that he was not cooperating in the investigation.
It submitted that the accused, time and again, was asked to disclose the facts relating to his entities but failed to make any disclosure and the ED came to know that proceeds of crime were laundered and parked in his foreign companies after receiving responses to Letter Rogatory.
The ED had earlier this year searched the premises of Gupta to collect the evidence in connection with the case.
According to the ED, Euro 12.4 million were transferred to the accounts of Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius, which it said was one of the main fronts that were used for laundering the proceeds of crime in the present case. Out of funds received in Interstellar Technologies Limited, a huge amount of proceeds of crime were transferred in accounts of those companies which are under the control of Shravan Gupta, the agency said.
The ED had lodged a money laundering case following alleged irregularities in purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica''s British subsidiary AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by Government of India in 2014. (ANI)

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