Dassault document adds to corruption claims over Rafale sale to India

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The sale to India by France of 36 Dassault Rafale jet fighters for close to 8 billion euros has become the centre of corruption allegations levelled against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his close friend, Indian businessman Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group which was handed the role of local industrial partner of Dassault to build parts for the jets despite no aeronautical expertise. The claim that Ambani was given the joint venture contract as a favour by Modi to save his struggling business is the subject of a complaint lodged this month with India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. Now Mediapart has obtained a Dassault company document in which a senior executive is quoted as saying the group accepted to work with Reliance as an “imperative and obligatory” condition for securing the fighter contract. Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

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On October 27th 2017, Indian businessman Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group conglomerate who is close to India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, warmly embraced French defence minister Florence Parly who had arrived in the central Indian city of Nagpur for the inauguration of a site destined to manufacture parts for 36 French-built Rafale fighter jets Paris had sold to New Delhi in a deal signed in 2016 worth 8 billion euros.