India, in the past couple of months, has closed at least two high-profile cases involving bribery and corruption in its defense dealings thus lifting a moratorium placed on several firms over the past decade.
One is the long-running investigation into the allegation that the Israeli Aerospace Industries paid kickbacks to Indian officials to win the Barak missile deal in 2001. The investigation also involved other procurements by the Indian armed forces which eventually led to several high-profile arrests in 2006.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, India's equivalent to the FBI, this week said it was closing the case due to “paucity of evidence.”
Since then India has awarded IAI a contract worth $641 million for the procurement of 262 Barak-I missiles for the Indian Navy.
The second is the investigation into allegations that a former army officer, claiming to represent Tatra’s Indian representative, had offered former Indian Army Chief, General V.K. Singh a US$2.8 million bribe to clear an order for 600 “sub-standard” Tatra trucks.
However, the CBI has reportedly hit a dead end after interviewing nearly 50 people. "It will be difficult for us to prove such allegations unless we get more direct evidence. It is therefore unlikely that we will pursue the case further," said a senior CBI official was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the CBI will likely close its 8-year long investigation against South-African weapons manufacturer Denel for allegedly paying kickbacks involving weapons supplied during the Kargil War.
Denel is accused of paying a 12.75 per cent commission to UK-based Varas Associates for the supply of bunker buster anti-material rifles.
This case was was registered by the CBI in 2005. Denel was previously blacklisted by the MoD for arms contracts.
The now-closed cases leave behind them a slew of on-going investigations including the VVIP helicopter deal with AgustaWestland.
The helicopter-maker is accused of paying several million euros in bribes to the air force contract. The Indian ministry of defense has ordered a criminal investigation and put the contract on hold. Simply put, the MoD has suspended both payments and will not be accepting further deliveries.
Earlier this year, Indian officials charged a Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) official and two others who allegedly paid bribes on behalf of the company to ensure it wouldn’t get blacklisted in India.
Rheinmetalll, last year, was placed on a blacklist banned from doing business in India after corruption allegations surfaced.
Police have charged Gerhard Hoy, the India representative of Rheinmetall, with bribery, along with Indian businessman Abhishek Verma and his Romanian-born wife, Anca Neacsu.
Additionally, Neacsu was allegedly lobbying for a small arms manufacturer who was trying to win the INSAS assault rifles contract. She reportedly shot videos of these meetings to show her influence in government circles and reach to senior officials. These videos were then sent to manufacturers.
The Indian Navy is likely to move forward with the procurement of an additional 262 Barak-I missiles worth $641 million from Israeli Aerospace Industries, after Indias leading investigation agency closed its investigation into allegations of bribery in the Barak missile case. The Barak-I missiles deemed a “critical operational requirement” by successive navy chiefs is likely to be cleared by the Defense Acquisitions Council led by defense minister AK Antony on December 23
Japan and India to soon hold talks on the exports of the US-2 Japanese amphibious rescue aircraft, a goverment official was quoted as saying by Kyodo news service. The two countries will have to negotiate details such as training the Indian pilots and allowing licensed production of the aircraft to nurture Indias air industry, the source said
India has successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable ballistic missile Dhanush, from a naval ship off the Odisha coast on Saturday. During the testing, conducted as part of a navy training exercise, the surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a location at the Bay of Bengal, while the DRDO provided all logistic support to track the missile's flight path, according to The New Indian Express
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The Indian Air Forces (IAF) fourth Boeing C-17 Globemaster III has departed to India on October 19, keeping the company on track to deliver a total of five advanced airlifters this year. Boeing will deliver five more C-17s to India in 2014 to complete the contract
South Africas position in the global defence and aerospace industries will be in the spotlight at the inaugural Denel Aerospace and Defence Conference, which brings together military decision-makers, industry leaders, senior public servants and defence sector participants for intense discussions on the challenges and opportunities currently facing the industry. The Denel Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference, taking place in Centurion tomorrow, will feature senior speakers from the SA National Defence Force as well as top decision-makers in the global defence technology environment and government
India has lifted its nine-year ban on South Africa based Denel after investigations failed authenticate corruption charges pertaining to a rifle sale over a decade prior. Denel received a letter confirming the decision to de-blacklist the company from the Indian Ministry of Defense earlier this month, according to various reports
Denel Dynamics is upgrading and improving its range of air defense, air-to-air and anti-armor missiles, Defence Web, an online news portal reported. The Umkhonto naval surface-to-air missile has been sold to three users, including the South African Navy, Finland and an undisclosed customer
Indias decision to blacklist AgustaWestland is set to be delayed as the countrys Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran advised against any immediate steps. "The Law officer has asked us to wait before going ahead with the blacklisting of the Anglo-Italian firm
Rheinmetall has won major orders from Indonesia and a European nation to supply air defence products for the air force and naval applications, having estimated value about €50 million. Indonesia has opted to expand its existing Rheinmetall-made Oerlikon Skyshield air defence systems with a follow-on order for Skyshield fire units
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