New Delhi: British automobile giant Rolls Royce has found itself in the eye of the storm after reports indicated that the company may have resorted to illicit payments in as many as 12 countries including India to avail lucrative deals.
According to the BBC, the company is alleged to have paid money up to the tune of 10 million pounds to organisations associated with Indian-born London based arms dealer Sudhir Chaudhrie in order to secure a major contract for engines on India’s Hawk aircrafts.
It is to be noted that Chaudhrie is in the government’s list of ‘blacklisted people’ suspected of ‘corrupt or illegal practices’.
Sudhir Choudhrie and his family members were also found to be beneficiaries of an offshore foundation set up in 2004 and were exposed in the Panama Papers investigation.
Investigation by UK’s Serious Fraud Office has found suspicious payment that was made in cash to Chaudhrie’s son Bhanu.
Bhanu is alleged to have received the kickbacks from an arms executive during a road trip to Switzerland.
The arms executive in question, Peter Ginger, was a key negotiator on the sale of Hawk aircraft to the Indian government, the report claimed.
But Bhanu Chaudhrie’s lawyer denied the allegations and claimed that ‘he has never been paid to secure deals for Rolls-Royce in India, including the sale of Hawk jets.’
Rolls Royce also said that it was fully co-operating with the authorities and that it could not comment on the ongoing investigations.
Rolls Royce had bagged a deal700 mn-pound deal with the Hindustan Aeronauntics in early 2010. The deal followed an order for 66 Hawk jets by India in 2004.