French Media Portal Claims New Evidence Of Bribery In Rafale Deal
French portal Mediapart on Monday claimed it has evidence of bribery paid by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation to help secure the sale of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft to India, further alleging in the report that the CBI and ED had evidence of bribes being paid since October 2018 but did not pursue the matter.
The media portal has alleged that false invoices were used to enable Dassault Aviation to pay at least 7.5 million euros (around Rs 65 crore) in secret commissions to middleman Sushen Gupta. Gupta was earlier arrested for alleged bribes in the AgustaWestland deal.
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“It involves offshore companies, dubious contracts, and ‘false’ invoices. Mediapart can reveal that detectives from India’s federal police force, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), and colleagues from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which fights money laundering, have had proof since October 2018 that French aviation firm Dassault paid at least 7.5 million euros (equivalent to just under 650 million rupees) in secret commissions to middleman Sushen Gupta. This was in the context of the French firm’s long and ultimately successful attempt to secure a 7.8 billion-euro-deal in 2016 to sell 36 of its Rafale fighters to India,” said a report on the Medipart website.
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Mediapart had earlier in April published a report to reveal how an influential Indian business intermediary was secretly paid millions of euros by Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation and French defence electronics firm Thales.
They succeeded in removing anti-corruption clauses from the fighter contract which was subsequently signed by then French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the report claimed.