CBI Recommends Blacklisting of Six Defence Firms

By admin • July 16th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi — The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sent a letter to the Indian Defence Ministry recommending the blacklisting of six firms, including four international ones, for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam of 2009.

The OFB scam involved kickbacks for OFB officials as well as unfair involvement of international firms in the procurement of artillery guns and ammunition for the Indian Army worth Rs 6,000 crores.

According to sources, the CBI has pointed out six firms which include international firms Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK), Israel Military Industries Ltd (IMI), Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), Zurich and Cooperation Defence, Russia. The other two firms are the local entities T.S Kisan and Company Private Limited of New Delhi and R.K Machines Tools Limited of Ludhiana.

In mid 2009, the CBI had arrested the OFB director-general Sudipto Ghosh, who had allegedly engaged in criminal conspiracy along with the other accused by favouring certain suppliers of the OFB and also matters relating to the transfer or posting of ordnance factory officials.

Since the Indian defence Ministry had not been conclusively convinced that the international firms had been truly involved in the OFB scam, it had given a go-ahead to STK of Singapore and IMI of Israel for field trials of the equipment of two armament companies that were earlier blacklisted in connection with the scam.

However, the recent letter to the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs by CBI clarifies that there is concrete evidence that these firms were directly involved with the then OFB director-general Sudipto Ghosh for organising kickbacks from the deal and bagging the contracts from OFB.

The Kolkata Courts will be taking up the OFB scam matter on July 31 this year.

source: India Defence Online

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