A CBI preliminary inquiry has found that $5.5 million was allegedly paid as commission to a middleman based abroad in the Embraer deal.
The agency termed it a ‘breakthrough’ in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary inquiry in the case and now, the agency may convert it into a regular case by registering a formal FIR as evidence of commission being paid has come up.
The agency sources refused to name or provide location of the middleman but said, “We are in touch with the law enforcement agencies of that country for further details in the matter.”
Sources said $5.5 million (approx Rs 36 crore according to present exchange rate) was allegedly paid as commission to influence the deal worth $208 million in favour of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.
Under the deal, three aircraft for the use of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to mount an air-borne radar system were to be purchased. The deal was inked in 2008.
A Brazilian newspaper recently alleged that the company had taken the services of middlemen to clinch deals in Saudi Arabia and India.
According to defence procurement rules of India, middlemen are strictly barred in such deals.