Delhi-based arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari has come under scanner once again after the media reports allege that he is also involved in financial crime related to Pilatus trainer aircraft deal.
Investigators are probing what kind of services his company, the Offset India Solution Private Limited, had provided to Swiss aircraft major Pilatus, NDTV reported. Mr Bhandari is already being investigated for allegedly buying a proxy-owned house for Robert Vadra in London.
NDTV cited unnamed government officials as saying that documents recovered from Sanjay Bhandari's properties reveal that his company, Offset India Solution Private Limited, had received around 7,50,000 Swiss Francs from Pilatus in 2010.
India had signed a Rs. 2,896 crore deal for 75 BTA with Pilatus Aircraft in May 2012.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said investigation is under way, but India will not stop flying the trainer aircraft.
"I will investigate, but will not stop flying the aircraft," Mr Parrikar said.
18 properties owned or linked to Mr Bhandari were raided last month by investigators who allege he has committed a variety of financial crimes.
A follow-on order of 38 Pilatus PC 7 Mk II aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) is increasingly getting mired in controversy as veteran air force officers say that it has features, for example, an ejection seat which is not necessary in a basic trainer. The order has already been put on hold by the finance minister as it has found the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of the aircraft is higher than the unit price that was quoted earlier
Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared the purchase of 38 PC-7 Pilatus basic trainer aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday. The original contract was for 75 and had an option clause of buying 50 percent under the same terms and conditions
Pilatus Aircraft has signed 300 million Swiss francs (US$292.2 million) contract to sell 21 PC-21 advanced trainers, of which 17 are for the French Air Force and two each for the Royal Jordanian Air Force and QinetiQ
India is set to buy a dedicated aircraft to carry out experiments related to weather forecast. A tender is expected to be floated by next month and the aircraft could be procured in the next 18 to 24 months, Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said
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