Rafale deal: Dassault Aviation rejects fresh chargs of corruption

New Delhi: French aerospace major Dassault Aviation on Thursday rejected fresh allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal with India, saying no violations were reported in the frame of the contract, days after French online journal 'Mediapart' alleged that the jet manufacturer had paid nearly one million Euros to an Indian middleman.

According to the French media, the report was based on an investigation by the country's anti-corruption agency Agence Francaise Anticorruption (AFA).

Rejecting the allegations, a Dassault Aviation spokesperson said,"numerous controls are carried out by official organisations, including the French Anti-Corruption Agency. No violations were reported, notably in the frame of the contract with India for the acquisition of 36 Rafales."

The spokesperson said Dassault Aviation, since the early 2000s, has "implemented strict internal procedures to prevent corruption, guaranteeing the integrity, ethics and reputation of the company in its industrial and commercial relations".

The French media report said that Dassault claimed the money was paid for 50 replicas of Rafale jets and the order was given to an Indian defence company. It also mentioned that the inspectors of the AFA were given no proof that these models were made. Following the allegations, the Indian company on Tuesday released a statement and tax invoices stating that the allegations were totally unfounded.

The Dassault Aviation official said the company reiterated that it acts in strict compliance with the OECD's (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) anti-bribery convention and national laws, in particular the Sapin 2 law.

Under the Sapin 2 law that came into force in 2017, French companies are required to implement a specific internal compliance programme to fight corruption.

"In the context of the Sapin 2 law, the company has completed and strengthened its system for the prevention and detection of corruption and influence peddling, both at the level of the parent company and its subsidiaries," the official said.

The company also noted that the Rafale deal was based on a government-to-government framework.

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