Rolls-Royce, BAE 'face investigation' in India over Hawk deal
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has reportedly filed a criminal complaint against Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems over previous fighter jet supply deals, officials said overnight.
The CBI alleged that, between 2003 and 2012, the companies engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to “cheat” the Indian government over deals to make BAE Hawk 115 aircraft, which used Rolls-Royce engines.
Media reports said, the case was based on the findings of an investigation launched by the CBI back in 2016, according to a federal police document dated May 23.
It forms part of the CBI’s ongoing investigation into historic bribery and corruption allegations.
The document reportedly alleged that the manufacturers of the trainer jet paid commissions in violation of Indian defence contract rules to middlemen who helped them get the contracts by exerting “undue influence” on Indian government officials.
It also said that Rolls-Royce India and its officials entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of India’s defence ministry and two middlemen between 2003 and 2012 for contracts linked to the trainer jets.
Rolls-Royce said the allegations being investigated were disclosed back in 2017, when it paid a £497m fine to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office to settle a case involving transactions with countries including China, India and Thailand.
A spokesman for Rolls-Royce said it was continuing to assist Indian authorities in their investigation. The story was first reported by Reuters.
In its response, BAE said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation. India’s defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment.