Italian police arrest former Finmeccanica exec, 3 others in bribery investigation

MILAN – Italian financial police say they have arrested a former executive of the state-controlled Finmeccanica defence contractor in a bribery investigation.

Naples prosecutor Francesco Greco said in a statement that Stefano Carlini, former head of external relations, was one of four people placed under house arrest Monday, along with a former executive of a Finmeccanica subsidiary and two Rome businessmen.

The four are suspected of setting up slush funds to funnel bribes to top Finmeccanica managers. Greco said in one incident, a gym bag containing 4 million euros ($5.5 million) was delivered to Finmeccanica offices.

Separately, two former Finmeccanica executives are on trial near Milan for allegedly paying bribes to win a helicopter contract with India.

Finmeccanica, which is 30-per cent state-owned, is a global player in defence and aeronautics.