Dassault, the manufacturing company of the French combat jet Rafale had accepted paying one million euro to a man from India immediately after the deal was signed between India and France in 2016. A total of 508,925 euros was allegedly paid as “gifts to clients” head in the 2017 accounts of the Dassault group. The unusual activity was first discovered by the senior inspectors of the French Anti-Corruption Agency, Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA), while they were auditing Dassault.
The confidential report of the audit on Sunday, April 4, cited, “The company said the money was used to pay for the manufacture of 50 large replica models of Rafale jets, even though the inspectors were given no proof that these models were made." The confidential report further added, “This amount "seemed disproportionate in relation to all the other entries."
The audit clashed with a tip received by the Parquet National Financier (PNF), which is a financial crime branch service of the French public prosecution services, in 2018. This had already indicated some irregularity in the defense deal between the two countries India and France.
According to the report, Dassault also made attempts to explain the “larger than usual gift” with the help of an Indian company called Defsys Solutions, by using an invoice of the company.
Nonetheless, there is no documentary proof that Dassault has been able to provide, which could help the company in establishing the very existence of those models. In addition, the company could also not justify that why the expense was labeled as a “gift to clients” in the accounts.
The French combat jet Rafale’s deal was signed between the Indian government and the French government for 36 jets in 2016. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun its premier squadron of the Rafale fighter jets at Ambala and the second squadron is due to be raised in West Bengal’s Hasimara.