An RCN, according to Interpol, is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.
Interpol has issued Red Corner Notices (RCNs) against two Italian nationals, alleged to be the middlemen in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal from AgustaWestland, on charges of money laundering pressed by the ED. Officials said the global warrant for arrest has been issued against Carlo Gerosa and Guido Ralph Haschke after a special court here had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against them on the plea of the Enforcement Directorate some time back. An RCN, according to Interpol, is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The latest notice against the duo states the foreign nationals are “wanted by the judicial authorities of India for prosecution/to serve a sentence” under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Another accused of the ED in the same case, British national Christian Michel James, has already been notified for arrest by the Interpol earlier this month on the request of the CBI which is also parallely probing the case. Sources privy to the case said while ED had also obtained an NBW and requested for an RCN against James, the Interpol warrant issued on the behest of the CBI “may well serve their purpose as well.” “Charges under PMLA may be inserted in the already published Interpol notice against Michel. With these two RCNs coming, the agencies have obtained global warrants against whom they wanted in their respective probes till now,” they said. While making a plea for the world-wide warrant, the ED had told the court that the Italians were required to be interrogated on many aspects of the case after its probe established their role in the case. ED had earlier claimed in the court that AgustaWestland had allegedly paid a “kickback” of around 70 million Euros, out of which around 30 million Euros was paid to James and his firm Global Services FZE, Dubai, while Gerosa and Haschke had cornered the rest. ED, in July 2014, had lodged a separate case under PMLA against several persons after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR registered earlier. Late last year, the central probe agency filed a chargesheet in the case against businessman Gautam Khaitan and others, including Gerosa and Haschke for alleged offences committed under various PMLA sections.CBI had named a number of persons in its FIR in the case including former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi. Tyagi, and others, including Gerosa, James and Haschke are among the 13 individuals named as accused in CBI’s FIR.CBI has alleged that during his tenure as IAF Chief, Tyagi and “with his approval”, the Air Force had “conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6000 metres to 4500 metres as mandatory” to which it was earlier opposed on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons.It had alleged reduction of service ceiling — maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally — allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to get into the fray as, otherwise, its choppers were not qualified for submission of bids.CBI had also alleged AgustaWestland managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine and eventually succeeded in getting the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from the Defence Ministry mainly due to softening of IAF on service ceiling, after Tyagi took over as its chief.