Offshore companies, dubious contracts and ‘false’ invoices” were allegedly used to make payments of nearly 7.5 million euros (approximately Rs 64 crore) in secret commissions to a middleman, French publication Mediapart reported on Sunday. This eventually helped French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation clinch a deal to sell 36 Rafale fighter jets to India, the report claimed.

The publication claimed that even though India’s Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate had been aware about this in October 2018, they had not started any investigation into the deal.

In 2016, India agreed to pay Rs 58,000 crore for the jets when it signed an inter-governmental agreement with France.

But the Congress accused the Narendra Modi-led government of paying too much for the planes. The party also alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party government had helped a defence firm owned by industrialist Anil Ambani land a major contract under the deal even though it had no experience in the sector.

Documents related to the offshore companies and invoices were discovered during an investigation into the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, in which Sushen Gupta, the alleged middleman, has been named as an accused, Mediapart reported.

This relates to a Rs 3,565-crore helicopter deal that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had signed in…

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