Stunning details of millions of dollars of payments by several foreign defence companies to alleged Indian arms dealers have emerged in secret documents accessed by the BBC and The Guardian.
Among the key details are remittances of almost €100 million (approx Rs. 730 crore) in just 12 months by Russian arms firms into accounts of companies controlled by alleged arms dealer Sudhir Choudhrie and his family and close associates, and about £10 million paid by British company Rolls-Royce to firms linked to Mr. Choudhrie.
Mr. Choudhrie has been investigated by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in various arms deals in the past.
Ever since his name emerged in the Tehelka tapes, Mr. Choudhrie and his family have been living in London. He figures in the CBI’s confidential list of ‘Undesirable Contact Men’, who are suspected of manipulating government contracts.
Allegations on Sudhir Choudhrie
According to BBC, Mr. Choudhrie’s son Bhanu accompanied an arms executive called Peter Ginger on a trip to Switzerland in 2007.
During the trip, Mr. Ginger made a payment amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds into a secret bank account in cash. The account was opened in the name of “Portsmouth” and bank documents show a balance of more than a million Swiss francs, the report said.
In what could raise serious questions about India’s massive defence deals with Russia, documents accessed by BBC/Guardian, show that Russian arms companies made massive payments to Mr. Choudhrie and family.