14 Facts Explained Rolls- Royce Paid Bribes in India
As per Indian Laws It is illegal to pay secret middlemen to win defense contracts in India
The documentary, produced with The Guardian, called Panorama: How Rolls-Royce Bribed Its Way Around the World, alleged that payments of around £10m were made to an unregistered Indian agent, and that the company made a suspicious payment which may have helped it win a major contract to build engines for Hawk aircraft.
The investigation alleged that Rolls-Royce paid millions of pounds to companies linked to Sudhir Choudhrie, a businessman on an Indian government blacklist of people suspected of "corrupt or irregular practice".
The joint investigation by the BBC and The Guardian claims it has uncovered new evidence that suggests the firm Rolls Royce was involved in corruption.
The Guardian and the BBC understand that Choudhrie family companies were paid millions by Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over suspicions it used intermediaries who allegedly offered bribes to secure contracts around the world
Rolls-Royce has said it is "fully co-operating with authorities" amid allegations that it made "secret payments" that may have helped it land a major defense contract in India.
In a Panorama programme, which aired on the BBC last night, it alleged that the company made payments of around £10 million to an unregistered Indian agent, which may have helped it land a deal for Hawk aircraft.
Panorama's investigation suggests Rolls-Royce paid the money to companies linked to Sudhir Choudhrie, who is on an Indian government blacklist of people suspected of "corrupt or irregular practice". Mr. Choundrie, who is a billionaire and lives in London, denies all allegations.
Choudhrie also serves as an adviser on India to the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and his family.
Panorama's allegations of corruption in India relate to a defense aerospace contract.
The Serious Fraud Office said it was investigating the claims, including allegations of bribery and corruption involving both Rolls-Royce and a Monaco-based firm called Unaoil.
Rolls-Royce plc, Britain's leading manufacturing multinational, hired a network of agents to help it land lucrative contracts in at least 12 different countries around the world.
The agents have been hired in at least 12 countries: Brazil, India, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Angola, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Rolls-Royce, sells turbines and engines for passenger jets and military aircraft and is worth an estimated 13 bn pounds
Sudhir Choudhrie and his son, Bhanu, have been arrested and questioned by the SFO over the bribery allegations. Both denied wrongdoing and were released without charge.
India's defense ministry on Monday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), the country's fraud squad, to investigate claims that Rolls paid bribes to secure government contracts.
In 2004, CBI has investigated Choudhrie over allegations of fraud in relation to arms deals, though they have all been formally closed.
His lawyers told the Guardian: “Sudhir Choudhrie was investigated but was never arrested. He was subsequently cleared of all allegations of wrongdoing and the investigation as a whole was closed in 2011.”
In a closure report filed in a Delhi court that year, the CBI stated it did not find any evidence to suggest there was any payoff to Choudhrie or his companies.
Rolls has supplied engines for six types of aircraft in India – AJT Hawk, Jaguar, Avro, Kiran MK-II and Sea Harrier and Sea King Helicopters – and the Indian air force is in the process of agreeing maintenance contracts.
Hawk aircraft are used by the Indian Air Force for training purposes.
According to media The middleman is accused of having paid bribes in the region of 5bn rupees (£48m)
The guardian reported that it has seen a report created by the risk management team at Clariden Leu in October 2008, which highlights the flow of vast sums that triggered the inquiry.
The report analyzed 18 “account relationships” and looked at money transfers between companies owned or managed by members of Bhanu Choudhrie’s extended family.
One was Belinea Services Limited, which received €37,200,000 (£33,400,000) from Rosoboronexport State Corporation, the Russian state’s arms dealership. Bhanu Choudhrie was a director of Belinea.
In the year leading up to the report, another company, the Seychelles-registered Cottage Consultants, received €28,100,000 from Rosoboronexport and transferred €22,700,000 to an Isle of Man bank.
On company documents, Bhanu Choudhrie is described as the “first and sole director” of Cottage Consultants. The company is owned through bearer shares, which means it is owned by whoever physically holds the share certificates.
Cottage Consultants had also received €9,700,000 from an entity called “ABC”, with the money originating from Vnesheconombank, a now-sanctioned Moscow bank.
Between 2007-2008, the Choudhrie’s family companies were paid “almost 100 million euros” by various Russian defense firms. Three group companies figure prominently – Cottage Consultants Ltd, Belinea Services Ltd and Carter Consultants Inc. – and all of them have Bhanu Choudhrie and Aman Chopra listed as either directors or shareholders.
According to the BBC/Guardian investigation, Cottage Consultants received 28.1 million euros from Rosonboronexport (a Russian govt entity through which most Indo-Russian military deals are routed) and 4.7 million euros from MiG Corporation (supplier of Indian military aircraft).
Belinea on the other hand, received inflows of 60.88 million euros and outflows of 23.6 million euros since October 1st, 2007.
The Rolls-Royce was involved in the Hawk deal, which involved India buying Rolls-Royce engines and BAE-produced planes.
It was agreed in 2004 and then in 2010.The total value of all the contracts involved came to £2.1bn.
The parts were assembled at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, an Indian state-owned aerospace and defense firm, where Sudhir Choudhrie’s uncle had been the chairman.
Guardian reported that about a curious meeting between Bhanu Choudhrie and a British businessman.
It came from a banking source who spoke to the Guardian. The source alleged that Bhanu Choudhrie and a former BAE executive called Peter Ginger visited Geneva together in 2007. Ginger was BAE’s president in India until 2005.
The Guardian has been told that during this trip, Ginger allegedly deposited hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash into a Clariden Leu account from another account he held.
By 2009, the account, which was called No 120467 Portsmouth, held about 1m Swiss francs.
The Guardian has seen a copy of a bank document that shows the details of the Portsmouth account.
The Serious Fraud Office’s inquiry into one of Britain’s most prestigious companies carries risk of reputational damage for both.
If England fails to find anything, CBI will find nothing, CBI will find only which is told and found by the UK agencies as CBI is powerless.
Currently there is no proof which clearly says and proves that Choudhrie and his family paid bribes to Indian officials.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Tags – Rolls-Royce India Corruption BBC Documentary Panorama Rolls Royce
01 November 2016
14 Facts Explained Rolls- Royce Paid Bribes in India