The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a charge sheet against arms dealers Arvind Khanna, advocate Gautam Khaitan, and businessman Anup Gupta in the Embraer corruption case in which kickbacks of $5.76 million were allegedly paid to swing a three-aircraft deal with the DRDO in favour of the Brazilian firm, officials said on Monday.
Recently, the agency charged Khanna, Khaitan, and Gupta under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, both of which pertain to criminal conspiracy.
Following the death of NRI businessman Vipin Khanna, who was listed in the FIR, the agency decided not to pursue further action.
In 2008, the Brazilian company Embraer signed a contract to supply the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with three aircraft for the installation of airborne radar equipment.
According to the CBI, Vipin Khanna received $5.76 million in payments from Embraer subsidiaries through Interdev, a Singapore-based company, to be used as leverage with DRDO officials.
In its FIR, the CBI had also booked Embraer and Interdev Pte Ltd in connection with the alleged corruption in the deal that was inked on July 3, 2008.
In September 2016, the agency opened a preliminary investigation into claims made in a Brazilian publication that Embraer had used middlemen to close transactions in Saudi Arabia and India. According to the defense procurement rules of India, middlemen are strictly barred in such deals.
The CBI has said that due to alleged mediation by Vipin Khanna, DRDO officials moved a proposal for the purchase of aircraft from Embraer on a single-vendor basis.
"It was also alleged that in lieu of facilitating the agreement/deal between Brazil-based firm and DRDO (India), the firm paid an amount of $5.76 million (approx) to the said middleman (Khanna) through Singapore-based company during the year 2009," the CBI spokesperson had said after the filing of the FIR.
Image source: ANI