A French anti-corruption NGO has filed a complaint with the office of French National Financial Prosecutor demanding an investigation into alleged corruption in the Rs 59,000 crore-Rafale deal, signed between India and France in September 2016. The complaint highlights “potential acts of corruption, granting of undue advantages, influence peddling, complicity of these offences and money laundering” by Government of France and Dassault Aviation, the maker of Rafale fighter aircraft.
The complaint was filed by Sherpa, an NGO which claims to “fight against illicit financial flows; corruption, money laundering, tax evasion” and “on ill-gotten assets”. The complaint was lodged at the end of October with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, seeking an investigation into the circumstances under which 36 combat aircraft produced by Dassault Aviation were sold by France to India in 2016.
Sherpa also sought a probe into the choice of Dassault’s Indian offset partner, Anil Ambani’s Reliance group, which had no “experience in the manufacture of fighter jets” and was only registered “twelve days” before the announcement of the finalisation of the contract.