1 min read.Updated: 09 Apr 2021, 05:17 AM ISTHT Correspondent
In the third and final part of its investigation into the Rafale deal, a journal claimed that the payments to Gupta were channelled through offshore accounts and shell companies, using inflated invoices for software consulting
Mediapart, a French online journal, claimed in the third part of its Rafale story on Thursday that it was in possession of documents that showed Dassault Aviation, which manufactures the Rafale jet, and its industrial partner Thales, a defence electronics firm, paid “middleman" Sushen Gupta several million euros in “secret commissions" in connection with the ₹59,000 crore deal for 36 jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
In the third and final part of its investigation into the Rafale deal, the journal claimed that the payments to Gupta were channelled through offshore accounts and shell companies, using inflated invoices for software consulting. Gupta’s name figures in the AgustaWestland charge sheet.
According to the journal, the bulk of the payments were made before 2013. “According to an accounts spreadsheet belonging to Sushen Gupta, an entity called simply ‘D’, which is a code he regularly used to designate Dassault, paid €14.6 million to Interdev in Singapore over the period 2004-2013," the report said. It said Interdev was a shell company with no real activity, and administered by a straw man for the Gupta family.
The report said according to another accounts spreadsheet belonging to Gupta, which only covers the years 2004 to 2008, Thales paid €2.4 million to another shell company.
Numerous controls are carried out by official organizations, including the French anti-corruption agency, and no violations were reported, notably in the framework of the contract with India for the acquisition of 36 Rafales, Dassault said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the plane maker acts in strict compliance with laws. Thales did not respond to an HT query on the Mediapart report.