CBI registers case in US $ 210 Million Embraer deal

erj-145New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against some unidentified officials of Ministry of Defence and Research and Development Organisation (DRDO); a Brazilian aerospace company and its officials; a Singapore based firm and some individuals yet to be identified on charges of corruption linked with the procurement of three modified Embraer EMB-145 Aircraft.

The EMBRAER EMB-145 is a twin-engined airliner with a maximum capacity of 50 passengers. It is produced by the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.

The accused persons have been charged under Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code read with sections 7, 8, 9, 12, 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

A Preliminary Enquiry was registered in this matter on 16 September 2016 on a reference received from DRDO to enquire into the allegations regarding employment of an agent for facilitating the contract for AEW&C Project with CABS/DRDO for procurement of 3 fully modified EMB-145 Aircraft.

During enquiry, it was found that a Brazil based firm had engaged defence consultant Vipin Khanna, a non-resident Indian based in United Kingdom, as a middleman. It was further alleged that as a result of mediation by this middleman, the officials of DRDO/Ministry of Defence, moved a proposal for purchase of three EMB-145 Aircraft from the Brazil based firm on a single vendor basis and this firm secured the contract for supplying three EMB-145 Aircraft from DRDO which comes under the Union Ministry of Defence. A Purchase Agreement was allegedly signed between the Brazil based firm and DRDO on 3 July 2008 for supply of three modified Embraer Aircraft EMB-145 for a consideration of approximately US $ 210 Million. It was also alleged that in lieu of facilitating the deal between the Brazil based firm and DRDO (India), the firm paid an amount of US $ 5.76 Million to the middleman through the accused Singapore based company during the year 2009. The amount of US $ 5.76 Million was used by the private person to influence the officials of DRDO and Ministry of Defence (Government of India) for the contract to supply three EMB-145 Aircraft by Brazil based firm.

Searches were conducted yesterday (20 October 2016) at certain premises of the middleman and others in Delhi which led to recovery of incriminating documents.

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