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Pilatus jet case: ED raids locations in multiple cities

作者:admin 2020-08-08

Hindustantimes          

HT Correspondent

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted raids at 14 locations in Delhi, Surat and Gurgaon in connection with its money laundering probe in the purchase of 75 Pilatus basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2009, officials familiar with the development said.

The ED had filed a money laundering case against fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in June 2019 on the basis of a CBI FIR the same month.

In the deal worth Rs 2,895 crore, CBI had named unknown officials of the IAF, defence ministry and Switzerland-based Pilatus Aircraft Limited apart from Bhandari.

It was alleged that Pilatus had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Bhandari and dishonestly and fraudulently signed a Service Provider Agreement with him in June 2010, which was in violation of the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2008. The agreement was signed to get the contract for supply of 75 basic Trainer Aircraft to the Indian Air Force, CBI said.

It has further alleged that the company made a payment of Swiss Franc 1,000,000 in the account of Offset India Solution Private Limited, a company linked to Bhandari, with the Standard Chartered Bank, New Delhi in two tranches in August and October, 2010. In addition, Rs 350 crore was also transferred in Swiss Francs from 2011 to 2015 in the bank accounts of Dubai-based Offset India Solutions FZC, also belonging to Bhandari.

CBI further said in its FIR that Pilatus dishonestly and fraudulently signed a Pre-contract Integrity Pact on November 12, 2010 with the defence ministry, deliberately concealing the facts about service provider agreement with Bhandari.

It also concealed the payments made to Bhandari in India and Dubai.

The agency had claimed that the commission was paid to influence the officials of the IAF, the MoD and other government departments associated with the procurement.

Pilatus bagged the contract on May 24, 2012 for Rs 2895.63 crore.

Bhandari is currently hiding in the UK.

Both Bhandari and Pilatus’s spokesperson/lawyer could not be located by HT.

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