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July 5, 2021updated 06 Jul 2021 4:38pm

France’s PNF orders judicial probe into Rafale jet deal with India

India had signed an $8bn deal on 23 September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation.

A judicial investigation has been ordered by France’s national financial prosecutors’ office (PNF) to look into alleged ‘corruption’ and ‘favouritism’ in the Rs590bn ($7.94bn) Rafale fighter jet deal with India.

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French investigative website Mediapart reported probe has been ordered after fresh reports on suspected wrongdoings in the deal and a complaint filed by Sherpa, a France-based financial crime specialist non-governmental organisation (NGO).

India’s current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had signed a deal on 23 September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace firm Dassault Aviation.

This deal was signed by India after an almost seven-year exercise to procure 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for its airforce did not materialise.

Mediapart reported: “The highly sensitive probe into the inter-governmental deal signed off in 2016 was formally opened on June 14th.”

The news agency further reported: “The criminal investigation led by an independent magistrate, an investigating judge, will, among other elements, examine questions surrounding the actions of former French president Francois Hollande, who was in office when the Rafale deal was inked, and current French president Emmanuel Macron, who was at the time Hollande’s economy and finance minister, as well as the then defence minister, now foreign affairs minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.”

On earlier occasions, Dassault Aviation and India’s Ministry of Defence had denied allegations of any corruption in the deal.

In 2019, India’s Supreme Court too dismissed petitions urging for an investigation into the deal, citing that there was sufficient ground for it.

India’s opposition parties allege each aircraft has been procured at a cost of more than Rs16.7bn ($225m) as against Rs5.26bn ($71m) finalised by the former UPA government during the talks for the MMRCA.

In October 2019, the Indian Defence Ministry received the first Rafale fighter aircraft during an official handover ceremony at Dassault Aviation’s facility in Merignac, France.

India chose Rafale over other proposals, including Lockheed Martin-built F-16, Boeing’s F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen fighter, and Russian-made MiG-35.

The induction of 36 Rafale aircraft into the Indian Air Force is expected to be completed by 2022.

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How attractive are current investment opportunities in Europe?

Europe has been identified as one of the most favorable regions for investors, seeing high investment activity in the past year. Most of these investments have been through Debt Offering, valued at close to $700 billion. The region has provided attractive investments in a diverse set of companies. Companies who tend to major themes such Digital Media, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, and Big Data are recording the highest number of deals, with Digital Media recording close to 2,000 deals. However, GlobalData’s whitepaper offers a full view of the market, analyzing less successful or attractive points of investment as well, examining statistics on Equity Offering investments and PE/VC deals. Understand how government agencies for economies around the world use GlobalData Explorer to:  
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  • Identify the top sectors in the target market attracting the investments
  • For any investment segment, identify the top Investors inside and outside the target economy that are already investing in the Segment
  • Assess and showcase the growth potential for various Industries in the target economy
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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