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Modi Governments Rafale fighter jet deal faces corruption probe in France

According to the exclusive report on the Mediapart website, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) said on 14 June that the Paris court launched a legal investigation into “corruption and nepotism” related to the 2016 sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets to India signed by the Narendra Modi government, and the investigation was submitted to an independent investigating judge.

Following the news published by Mediapart under the title “Rafale documents” in April and that Dassault Aviation, which produces these planes, paid 1 million euros to an Indian company. The anti-corruption non-governmental organization, Sherpa brought the matter to the judiciary on 22 April.

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Taking into account Sherpa’s complaint, PNF launched a corruption investigation into the sale on 14 July.

New evidence of corruption

The site writes that the investigating judge will focus their investigations on Anil Ambani, who is suspected of forming an industry partnership with Dassault for Rafale aircraft, taking advantage of his closeness to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to Mediapart’s research, two months after France and India signed the agreement for the sale of aircraft in September 2016, Dassault and Reliance signed the “shareholders” agreement of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited, which they will establish in 2017.

Financial details were kept confidential and not included in the agreement, but instead included in a confidential subcontract.

According to the confidential subcontract accessed by Mediapart, Dassault, which has no interest in partnering with Ambani apart from his political affiliations, financed 94 percent of the company’s 169 million Euro capital with a commitment to pay 159 million Euros, still owns 49 percent of the company’s shares.

While Dassault brought its market, technology, know-how, technical support, international marketing skills to the partnership, Reliance provided only the manufacturing site.

In partnership with Dassault, the company earned a substantial sum of 4 billion euros, the “industrial offsets” the French aircraft manufacturer had to pay Indian companies in exchange for the deal.

Mediapart, in its research news titled “Rafale documents” published in April, revealed along with documents that Dassault Aviation, which produces the planes, paid 1 million euros to an Indian company.

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Frontier India News Network

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