Briton wanted in chopper scam case extradited to India

Christian Michel has been accused of facilitating bribes between Indian officials and AgustaWestland
Briton wanted in chopper scam case extradited to India
Michel was one of three middlemen, all foreign nationals, charged by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation of receiving around $35 million in return for brokering the deal (picture for illustrative purposes).
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 05 Dec 2018 10:52 AM

A British middleman wanted in India in connection to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam was extradited from Dubai late on Tuesday, according to Indian media reports.

Earlier in the day, Indian police authorities said that the suspect, Christian Michel, would arrive in New Delhi and be taken into custody ad taken to court on Wednesday.

According to Indian law enforcement officials, Christian Michel allegedly facilitated bribes between key Indian government officials and Italian helicopter firm AgustaWestland to win the company a $500 million (AED 1.84 billion) contract to supply 12 helicopters.

Michel was one of three middlemen, all foreign nationals, charged by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation of receiving around $35 million in return for brokering the deal.

In a statement, Indian police said that Michel would be confronted with documents that reportedly show proof of bribery. Formal criminal charges will come following the conclusion of the investigation.

India had initially lodged the extradition request in 2016. A year later, a report was filed against Michel at Dubai Ports police station, where he was referred to the prosecution in relation to money laundering charges.

His lawyer Abdul Moneim Bin Suwaidan had initially argued that the extradition request was a violation of the international treaty between the UAE and India as Indian authorities did not follow proper procedures.

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