New Delhi: In a big revelation, a Fresh media claimed that Dassault Aviation, which manufactures the Rafale jet, paid 1 million euros to a person, described as a “middleman”, in connection with the ₹58,000 crore Rafale deal for 36 jets for the Indian Air Force.
In 2016 France and India signed a 7.8-billion-euro deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale jet fighters made by French defence group Dassault.
In its report, Mediapart said that, alongside this controversial deal, Dassault also agreed to pay one million euros to a middleman who is now under investigation in India in connection with another defence deal.
The French anti-corruption agency Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) discovered this separate arrangement during a routine audit of Dassault. The AFA nonetheless decided not to alert the prosecution authorities over the payment, the report stated.
The AFA inspectors were surprised when they came across a “suspect payment” of 508,925 euros listed against the head “gifts to clients.” It said the revelation was the first instalment of a three-part investigation dubbed “Rafale Papers”, the report further said.