The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revived the investigation into the Embraer aircraft deal which was signed during the tenure of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2008, reports Times of India.
According to the report, the agency is focusing on defence dealer Vipin Khanna’s involvement in the deal and his connections in Congress which allegedly helped him swing the deal in favour of Embraer and subsequent payoff of Rs 26 crore. The report cited sources as saying that Khanna was merely a front and the real beneficiaries were yet to be identified.
The ED had earlier initiated money laundering probes into the three multi-million dollar defence deals for the Embraer aircraft, AgustaWestland choppers and Pilatus aircraft done during the UPA regime.
The agency has claimed over $5 million payoffs in the three-aircraft Embraer deal for the airborne radar system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had last year registered an FIR and named Khanna as the defence agent who received kickbacks in the $208 million Embraer aircraft deal.
As per the report, the ED has so far tracked over Rs 760 crore in alleged bribes received by defence dealers in the three deals - Rs 26 crore alleged kickbacks in Embraer deal, Rs 423 crore in the AgustaWestland chopper deal and Rs 310 crore in the Pilatus aircraft deal.