French NGO demands probe against Dassault, Rafale deal

After several petitions reaching Supreme Court and other investigation agencies seeking a probe into Rafale deal, the trend seems to be shifting to French government, where demands for a probe into this deal are getting momentum. A French NGO Sherpa has filed a complaint with the country’s National Financial Prosecutor’s office on the Rafale deal between India and France.

Sherpa has described itself as an organisation which has the “mission to protect and defend victims of economic crimes drawing on the power of the law and to fight against the new forms of impunity linked to globalisation”.

It has allegedly lodged the complaint last month, to seek answers about allegations of money laundering, granting of undue advantage, corruption and influence peddling on the part of France and Dassault, in the deal inked between India and France in September 2016.

The complaint was lodged 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, Mediapart reported.

“Everything indicates that it is likely to be a very serious matter,” said William Bourdon, the founder of Sherpa told Mediapart, adding that “the information communicated to the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office should lead to the opening of an investigation as soon as possible “.

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