India cashes in $38 million in guarantees for AgustaWestland deal

by Reuters
Wednesday, 5 February 2014 13:19 GMT

NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - India has cashed in two bank guarantees worth 2.4 billion rupees ($38.33 million) backing a scrapped helicopter deal with AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's state-owned Finmecannica, a defence ministry statement said on Wednesday.

India's government cancelled the deal for 12 high-end choppers last month. It had already frozen payments for the contract in February 2013, after Finmeccanica's then chairman Giuseppe Orsi was arrested for allegedly paying bribes to middlemen to secure the deal.

New Delhi is currently unable to cash in other bank guarantees backing the deal, provided by Deutsche Bank, Milan, due to a stay ordered by an Italian court, the statement said.

Reuters reported on the freeze last month, citing sources who said the total value of the guarantees was 300 million euros. (ID:nL6N0KL08N)

Orsi and former AgustaWestland head Bruno Spagnolini, who have both denied the allegations, are on trial in Italy.

($1 = 62.6175 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Shyamantha Asokan; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)

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