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Opinion

ED Files Bribery Charge Sheet In UPA Era Embraer Aircraft Deal

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New Delhi: Twelve years after India signed an agreement with the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer for the supply of three fully modified EMB-145 aircraft for Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW & C), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) presented a charges alleging that the company paid a commission. worth $ 5.6 million (around Rs 41 crore based on Wednesday forex rates) in exchange for a $ 210 million contract (around Rs 1,544 crore).

According to ED’s investigation, shared by an agency official on condition of anonymity, Embraer struck a deal with the alleged middleman, NRI arms dealer Vipin Khanna, in 2005 for his services at a 9% commission, three years before contract with IAF was signed (on July 3, 2008).

The agency has named Embraer SA and the companies and individuals used to send the money on its charge sheet, including the Singapore-based company, Interdev Aviation Services Pte. Ltd, KRBL Ltd, which is one of the rice exporting companies. basmati whose brands include India Gate basmati rice, their joint managing director Anoop Kumar Gupta, his nephew Anurag Potdar and others, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case in October 2016 against unknown officials from DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization), Embraer, Vipin Khanna and other unknown persons on the basis of which ED had initiated its investigation of money laundering in the case. .

The indictment is that Khanna received $ 5.6 million from the Sao Paulo-based firm in exchange for influencing the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and DRDO officials for the contract to supply three fully modified EMB-145 aircraft to the Government of India as a platform for the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW & C) Project.

In September 2016, the Brazilian newspaper Newspaper It reported that Embraer had been under investigation by the United States Department of Justice since 2010 for a contract with the Dominican Republic.

According to the details HT had access to, Embraer entered into an agency agreement with Khanna’s company, Cleveden Limited, around 8 February 2005 for their services at a commission of 9%.

“This agreement was kept in a safe in London. Three years later, Embraer signed a contract with the IAF (on July 3, 2008) to provide three highly specialized military aircraft for approximately $ 210 million. The next day, Vipin Khanna contacted Embraer and demanded their commission, ”said an emergency officer.

ED said in a statement Wednesday that its investigation established the payment of a commission by Embraer.

It said that “the bribes were sent by M / s Embraer SA through its subsidiaries to M / s Interdev Aviation Services Pte Ltd, Singapore instead of a bogus deal.”

“The bribes amounting to around USD 3,275 million were sent from M / s Interdev Aviation Services to M / s KRBL DMCC, Dubai (a wholly owned subsidiary of KRBL Ltd) instead of a bogus deal to finally reach India Through M / s KRBL Ltd it projects the same as uncontaminated money. Furthermore, the investigation revealed that Anoop Kumar Gupta, Director of KRBL Limited, signed the sham agreement entered into between Interdev Aviation Services and KRBL DMCC (Dubai) to receive the proceeds of crime (PoC) that was ultimately received into KRBL Ltd’s bank account. in which he is one of the directors, ”said the ED statement.

The agency has, so far, seized real property worth Rs 16.29 crore belonging to KRBL in the case.

E-mail inquiries sent to Embraer and KRBL were not answered. Representatives for Interdev and Khanna could not be reached.

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