New Delhi, Sep 14: Seeking preliminary inquiry in 2008 Embraer aircraft deal, the Defence Ministry has written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry out further investigations. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that the CBI would probe the deal if any criminal angle is found and if only procedural issues are involved, then the Defence Ministry can do an internal investigation.Also Read - DRDO TBRL Recruitment 2021: Apply For THESE Posts Before Dec 20; Check Details Here
“I have directed the DRDO to send a complete report on the deal by Monday. I will study the report first before making any concrete statement on the issue but I can tell you as of now that if it displays criminal nature, I will hand over the case for CBI probe,” Parrikar told media persons in Vadodara. (ALSO READ: CBI may probe Embraer aircraft deal if criminality indicated: Manohar Parrikar) Also Read - DRDO Successfully Flight Tests Indigenously Developed Long Range Bomb
A US $208-million Embraer aircraft deal was signed during the UPA government in 2008. It has come under scrutiny of the US authorities over alleged kickbacks paid to secure the contract. The deal was inked between the Brazalian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The deal signed comprised of three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control systems). Also Read - DRDO Recruitment 2021: Apply For 116 Apprentice Posts on drdo.gov.in, Check Last Date and Eligibility Criteria
As per reports by NDTV, the company has been under investigation by US Justice Department since 2010 when a contract with the Dominican Republic raised US’ suspicion. DRDO chief S Christopher, who headed the AEW&C programme previously, did not answer phone calls or respond to messages, news agency PTI reported. “Investigations that have been opened by the government of the United States to establish whether Embraer paid bribes in order to obtain contracts abroad have affected deals that the Brazilian company closed with Saudi Arabia and India,” Brazalian newspaper Folha De Sao Paulo was quoted saying by NDTV. (ALSO READ: Air Costa to lease another five Embraer jets)
As the deal has come under a cloud over allegations of bribery, DRDO Chief S Christopher briefed Parrikar on details of the Embraer Aircraft Deal of 2008. As per reports, the DRDO has already approached the Brazilian company for a detailed explanation over media reports.