Indian defence ministry seeking details of $208 mn Embraer deal amid graft allegations
The deal to buy three EMB-145 planes was inked under the tenure of former UPA government. (Representative image, source: Wikipedia) Photograph: (Others)
"DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to seek explanation and details from manufacturers of Embraer aircraft on media reports on deal for the aircraft signed in 2008," principal spokesperson, ministry of defence, tweeted taking cognizance of the media reports about the deal coming under the US scanner.
DRDO to seek explanation & details from manufacturers of Embraer aircraft on media reports on deal for the aircraft signed in 2008.1/2— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) September 10, 2016
On receipt of information by DRDO further steps may be initiated.2/2— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) September 10, 2016
"On receipt of information by DRDO further steps may be initiated," the spokesperson said in another tweet.
The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is being probed by prosecutors in Brazil and the US Justice Department, according to media reports, over commissions allegedly paid to a UK-based defence agent for clinching the 2008 deal.
After the controversy over the 2013 Agustawestland chopper deal, where several politicians of former UPA government were accused of taking bribes, the Embraer deal has yet again cast a shadow on the grand old Congress party that led the alliance. The scam was termed as 'VVIP chopper scam' or 'choppergate' by local media.
It's pertinent to mention that three EMB-145 planes for $208 million were purchased under the deal. While the first aircraft was delivered in 2011, the other two were delivered later.
According to media reports, the research and development wing of the ministry of defence, DRDO, has denied any knowledge on the matter.
(WION with inputs from agencies)