In a major revelation in the Rafale scam, over the deal between India and France to procure the Rafale multi-role fighter, a new report published by Mediapart on Sunday stated that evidently false invoices enabled French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation to pay at least 7.5 million euros in alleged secret commissions to a middleman during the negotiations for the deal at a time when the UPA government was in-charge.
The report named one Sushen Gupta whose Mauritius-based company Interstellar Technologies was allegedly paid by Dassault during the years 2007 to 2012 when the deal was being negotiated.
Documents related to the offshore companies and invoices were discovered during an investigation into the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, in which Sushen Gupta, the alleged middleman, has been named as an accused, Mediapart reported.
As per Mediapart.fr’s report in July, France’s anti-corruption agency Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) found a suspicious payment of 1 million euros by Dassault Aviation to an Indian middleman Defsys Solutions for 50 models of Rafale aircraft which were to be given as “gifts” in 2016. The middleman is now accused of money laundering in India in the VVIP chopper scam.
“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 ..
In 2016, India agreed to pay Rs 58,000 crore for the jets when it signed an inter-governmental agreement with France.
But the Congress accused the Narendra Modi-led government of paying too much for the planes. The party also alleged that the BJP government had helped a defence firm owned by industrialist Anil Ambani land a major contract under the deal even though it had no experience in the sector.