India Files Grave Case Against BAE Systems,

Adeyemi Adeyemi
Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant 2023-05-29 22:42:14

The ‘criminal conspiracy’ case is related to the acquisition and production under license of 123 advanced jet trainers.

India has sued Britain’s BAE Systems plc and Rolls-Royce Holdings for “criminal conspiracy” in the procurement and licensed production of 123 advanced jet trainers, according to a federal police document.

The case is based on the findings of an investigation launched in 2016 by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the May 23 document said.

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Rolls-Royce said on Monday it continued to assist Indian authorities in their investigations and that the allegations under investigation came to light in 2017 when it paid a fine to British authorities.

“Rolls-Royce is a fundamentally different business today. We do not tolerate any form of business misconduct and are committed to maintaining high ethical standards,” a spokesperson for the blue-chip company told Reuters via email.

India’s Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. BAE said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

The document accessed by Reuters said the trainerjet manufacturers paid commissions to intermediaries, in violation of Indian defense contract rules. The middlemen helped them win the contracts by exerting “improper influence” on government officials.

It also said that between 2003 and 2012, Rolls-Royce India and its officials entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown Defense Ministry officials and two intermediaries for contracts related to the trainer jets.

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In 2005, India signed a deal to buy 24 Hawk 115 advanced jet trainers for £734.21 million ($926.65 million), and the licensed production of 42 jets for £308.25 million ($380.94 million), along with the supply of materials and transfer of technology.

This was done, the CBI said in its document, “in lieu of huge bribes, commissions and kickbacks paid by the said manufacturer and its officials to intermediaries.”

Between 2008 and 2010, the Indian government authorized the production under license of an additional 57 jets for Rs 95 billion ($1.16 billion) under a separate agreement with BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd.

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In 2012, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an investigation into Rolls-Royce for payments related to transactions involving countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Rolls-Royce paid a £497 million ($614.19 million) fine in 2017 to settle the case with the SFO.

India Files Grave Case Against BAE Systems,

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