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HT Correspondent and PTI, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 10, 2014
British engineering giant Rolls Royce (RR) has offered to return Rs. 18 crore to the government, the amount paid by it as commission to a consultant for bagging some deals in India. RR has reportedly made that offer in a letter to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with whom it struck several deals worth around Rs. 10,000 crore to supply engines during 2007-11. HAL is likely to send the letter to defence ministry, which has ordered a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities. 

In its March 5 letter, RR has claimed it paid only Rs. 18 crore as commission to its agent Aashmore Private, sources told Press Trust of India.

The defence ministry has already put on hold all existing and future deals with Rolls Royce pending a CBI probe ordered into allegations of bribery and engaging middlemen in contracts for supply of aircraft engines to HAL. HAL has also been asked to take action to recover from the London-based Rolls Royce the money paid by it to its commission agents.

The decisions were taken even as Rolls Royce in a letter written to HAL in December last admitted it had employed a Singapore-based person identified as Ashok Patni and his firm Aashmore Private Limited as “commercial advisor” in India, providing sales and logistical support, local business support and “strategic advice”.