Thu, 05 Oct 2023

BAE, Rolls-Royce to be charged in India graft case

Robert Besser
02 Jun 2023, 13:29 GMT+10

NEW DELHI, India: Indian federal police documents indicate that the country has filed a graft case against the UK's BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for "criminal conspiracy" related to the procurement and manufacturing of 123 advanced jet trainers.

The document, dated 23rd May, stated that the case is based on the findings of an investigation by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), opened in 2016.

According to Rolls-Royce, the allegations were disclosed back in 2017, when it paid a fine of 497 million pounds to the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to settle a case involving transactions with various countries, including in China, India and Thailand.

The company is continuing to assist Indian authorities in their investigation, and it is now "a fundamentally different business," a spokesperson said.

Reuters reported that the manufacturers of the trainer jet allegedly paid commissions, in violation of Indian defense contract rules to middlemen, who enabled them to win the contracts by exerting "undue influence" on government officials in India.

Between 2003 and 2012, Rolls-Royce India and its officials also entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown Indian defense ministry officials and two middlemen for contracts linked to the trainer jets, the report added.

In 2005, India signed a deal to buy 24 Hawk 115 advanced jet trainers for 734.21 million pounds, and licensed the production of 42 jets for 308.25 million pounds, as well as the supply of materials and related technology transfers.

The CBI said this was done "in lieu of huge bribes, commissions and kickbacks paid by the said manufacturer and its officers to intermediaries."

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