Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau is probing alleged kickbacks worth crores paid to Indian defense officials for an aircraft spares purchase deal.
According to a records accessed by The Indian Express, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NAB) has suspected kickbacks worth US$ 2.6 million (Rs 17.55 crore) involving India’s defense ministry officials in purchase of spares for Ukrainian–built military transport aircraft An-32.
The NAB’s suspicion, records show, stems from the fact that nearly 11 months after Ukrainian state-run Spetstechnoexport signed the agreement with Ministry of Defence (Air Force Headquarters) on November 26, 2014 for supply of spares to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Spetstechnoexport signed another pact with a little-known Global Marketing SP Ltd for its implementation.
The NAB has sent a “request for international legal assistance” to the Ministry of Home Affairs via the Indian envoy in Kiev on February 13, this year.
“Despite the fact that the Ukraine alleges 17.5-cr kickbacks to MoD officials, asks India for help terms of the agreement had not been actually fulfilled, the parties signed statements of completion whereupon Spetstechnoexport transferred $2.6 million of budget funds to the account of Global Marketing opened in the UAE,” wrote the Chief Unit of Detectives of the NAB.
Since the second agreement was not called for given that both sides had already sealed the main deal in November 2014, the NAB suspects that the Indian defence officials “might be witness of the above circumstances” in which Spetstechnoexport signed the second agreement with Global Marketing on August 13, 2015.
The NAB has sought information, among others, on the involvement of Global Marketing in the “conclusion and/or implementation of the contract”; contacts, if any, between defence ministry officials with Global Marketing’s representatives; factors that influenced the “timeliness and completeness of payments”; and, Global Marketing’s involvement in the signing of “supplementary agreements”.
Parallely, it has also written to Noor Islamic Bank in Dubai to provide information about the movement of funds between August 2015 and January 2018 from Global Marketing’s account as well as details of IP addresses from which the said account was accessed.
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The Ukrainian manufacturer of the AN-32 transport aircraft, Antonov Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex , has been awarded a $400 million order to upgrade the entire AN-32 fleet of Indian Air Force (IAF) under an estimated $400 million contract. The Indian media reported that the AN-32s were fast approaching the end of their "total technical life'' of 25 years by this year-end which promoted the Indian MOD to issue one of its largest upgrade contract to date
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