India seeks report on $740 mln Finmeccanica deal

NEW DELHI Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:53pm IST

Visitors look at AgustaWestland model helicopters during Heli-Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur October 22, 2002. REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim/Files

Visitors look at AgustaWestland model helicopters during Heli-Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur October 22, 2002.

Credit: Reuters/Zainal Abd Halim/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's defence ministry has sought a report from Indian Embassy in Rome on new media reports of alleged foul play in a 560 million euro helicopter deal with Italy's Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI).

"Any such complaint or allegation received will be investigated and the contractual provisions invoked, in case any wrong doing is established, in addition to action that may be required under law," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this year, an Indian defence ministry's investigation found no foul play in the purchase of 12 helicopters from Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland.

Italian prosecutors are investigating Finmeccanica Chief Executive Giuseppe Orsi over allegations of international corruption and money laundering, according to a judicial source familiar with the probe.

Newspapers on Tuesday said searches in Lugano, Switzerland focussed a possible kickback paid to the Northern League political party in Italy as part of a sale of helicopters to India.

"AgustaWestland has not engaged in irregular conduct of any kind, and has not paid commissions of any kind for the sale of AW101 helicopters to the Indian government," Finmeccanica said on Tuesday in response to the media reports.

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky and Arup Roychoudhury; Editing by Rajesh Pandathil)

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