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After Agusta helicopter kickbacks, Air India too partakes of Canadian bribes

Tue, May 10, 2016, 11:22 AM
Like the AgustaWestland helicopter kickbacks, another deal concerning the biometric facial recognition devices for Air India is also replete with bribery to Air India officials and the then Civil Aviation Minister.

The deal was actively pursued by a Canadian firm, Cryptometrics, which started an Indian office and allotted huge funds to it to bribe Air India officials and the then Civil Aviation Minister in 2006.

Like in the Agusta deal, the foreign part of the deal had been probed and the guilty punished, but the Indian bribe-takers in the facial recognition deal have enjoyed themselves and now demanding to show the proof as to their identity. And like in Agusta, after taking the bribes the deal was canceled, so also in the cryptic biometric facial recognition deal, after the bribes were taken the deal was canceled, while the tender was on.

Like in Agusta, the perpetrator of the deal, an NRI, Nazir Karigar, was found guilty of giving bribes by a Canadian court and punished.

The modus operandi of the Congress-led governments had been simple: Take the bribes and cancel the deal midway so as to show themselves untainted. The taint, if any, is difficult to prove because of the havala money-laundering that they adopt. Moreover, the enforcement agencies are within the powers that be in Delhi, and they can sleep over the probe. By the time, Delhi wakes up, the meandering money trail is lost.

The then Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel, has denied anything to do with the deal, saying it was Air India's problem and his Ministry was not allowed access to the deal.

Cryptometrics Canada clearly says it had allotted Rs 26.64 crore to the then Civil Aviation Minister.

Zee TV, which has made the revelations, says it has all the papers concerning the deal.

The Indians who have benefited from the Rs 698 crore deal include the then Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Vasudevan Tulasidas and Air India's Deputy Director Captain Mascarenhas.

Praful Patel said the allegations against him were baseless because the deal was terminated. The tenders were looked after by Air India and his Ministry was not sent such files.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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