We saw recently that Italian chopper deal of Fe.. with India was in trouble in Italy because of corruption. Now it comes out that the requirements were tweaked to help this Italian firm win the contract!
India allegedly tweaked the technical requirements in the tender to procure 12 VVIP helicopters for the Air Force to help Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland enter the race, an associate of the suspected middleman in the deal has alleged in his confession to Italian prosecutors.
In his testimony, the associate of Guido Haschke said the AW 101 chopper did not qualify initially as the requirements were being drawn by India in 2006. They were allegedly tweaked after Haschke struck a deal with the Italian company.
Strangely these helicopters are to be used by the VVIPs – which are essentially the politicians. And the technical requirements were changed to accommodate the needs of one company because the middleman had relationships in the Defense Ministry.
Messina says AgustaWestland figured out its choppers would not qualify for the contract after it contacted Haschke. He says Haschke managed to get the requirements changed to accommodate AgustaWestland.
“He told me he managed to convince the Indians, or actually the defence ministry, to reconsider the features of the helicopters so that Italian helicopters too could take part in the tender,” Messina says. “After some evaluation, it was found Haschke was right and the… ministry had really modified the technical features of the helicopters it needed.”
Messina says he received “50,000-60,000 euros in cash” from Haschke as a “thank you sign” in 2009.
Btw, just so you don’t get confused between the company mentioned in the last article on this deal and this one – AgustaWestland became a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica.