The CBI on Friday registered a Preliminary Enquiry into alleged kickbacks in the `10,000-cr deal between the Centre-owned HAL and the UK based Rolls Royce.
It was alleged that Rolls Royce had paid money to a Singapore based advisor Ashmore Private Limited in order to win the lucrative contract.
Rolls Royce in December, 2013, told HAL it had used the services of “unauthorised advisor” for strategic advice, logistical support and local business expertise. After the arrest of arms dealers in UK last month by the country’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Defence Minister A K Antony had recommended a CBI probe into the deal.
On March 5, the world’s second largest jet engine manufacturer had written a letter to HAL claiming the company had paid only `18 cr as commission to its advisor Aashmore Private Limited and was willing to return that amount to the Govt.
According to sources, the CBI has named unknown officials of HAL, owner of Ashmore Private Limited Ashok Patni and Rolls Royce in the PE to probe alleged kickbacks in purchase of spare-parts of the engines of the helicopters to the Industrial and Marines gas turbine division of HAL.
UK’s SFO probe in Rolls Royce’s shady deal in countries had triggered controversy in February, after a former employee of the Company Dick Taylor turned whistleblower, revealed several alleged transaction details in his blog posts.