Chopper deal: In tapped phone call, middleman says destroyed evidence
CNN-IBN has accessed details of phone conversations between between the two Italian middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
New Delhi: As the Central Bureau of Investigation team leaves for Italy to probe the AgustaWestland chopper deal, CNN-IBN has accessed details of phone conversations between between the two Italian middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. The tapped phone conversations also reveal how Haschke claims he has destroyed all evidence of wrongdoing.
Haschke: I cleaned out every single paper from my office, completely cleaned out my computer. Actually I removed the old computer I had. I have a new computer where there is nothing. So even if they look for wiped out data, they won't find anything. And I am deleting all mail that passed through me from Carlo's server in office.
IF he hadn't wiped out incriminating data, Haschke would have been caught and that is what he confessed to Gerosa.
Haschke: The important thing is that my name doesn't leak out.
Gerosa: Same here. You know you are the first link.
Haschke: I understand.
Gerosa: If they skip the first link then I'm in the middle of it.
In the repeated calls between Haschke and Gerosa, the murky Indian link too, is established.
Gerosa: I receive orders from (unclear) there in India, but this we can't say openly to Gautam.
Haschke: No, but he knows it well. His presence is not negotiable. The orders of recycling are passed from us to him, but the recycling is done by him. We are really a group dedicated to criminal ends.
Gerosa: You won't block the discourse on the other issue?
Haschke: Yes, that's what I thought. Because if Gautam fears Aeromatrix will get involved, he already told me, have you heard or not, Pravin is already agitated?
The questions that arise here are as to who are these people in India that Gerosa receives orders from? What is it that cannot be discussed openly? The two Indians mentioned in the conversation are Pravin Bakshi, CEO of Aeromatrix, and Gautam Khaitan, former Director of Aeromatrix, who has called all allegations baseless.
The calls also seem to bear out the Italian probe allegation that money was transferred from Italy to India through a company called IDS Tunisia - linked to Aeromatrix. Here is Haschke talking to an AugustaWestland employee Garavaglia Attilio:
Haschke: Garavaglia, hello.
Haschke: I am sending money to Pravin because naturally he needs it for the end of the year. He tells me he has spoken to you.
Garavaglio in turn speaks to a Tunisian contact Kammoun Hedi, one of the names being probed by the Italian police.
Hedi: Good morning, it's arrived! (referring to payment from Augustawestland to IDS Tunisia)
Garavaglia: It's arrived? Good.
Hedi: Yes, I'll send it all to Praveen immediately.
When contacted, Pravin Bakshi too refuted all allegations. "If there is so much of talk about a conspiracy then why hasn't any investigating agency contacted me," he questioned.
The details in these phone calls recorded by the Italian police suggest a deep and complex conspiracy. All hopes now are on the CBI to unravel the truth and reveal the big names that remain in the closet.