Brazil and US to probe graft in Embraer aircraft deal with India

airplane-leBrazil and the US are now investigating alleged payments of bribes by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to swing deals with India and Saudi Arabia.

Embraer is said to have paid commissions to a UK based agent – while the Indian defence procurement system bans the use of middle-men or unauthorised agents in the $208 million deal for 3 EMB-145 Jets inked by the UPA government in 2008. The 3 aircraft have been equipped with indigenous radars in a Rs.2520 crore DRDO project to serve as early-warning and control systems aircraft for the IAF.

The report however said at least 3 company officials had told the media that the Indian deal was being examined for corruption.

The details of bribery emerged in May when an employee with over 30 years of experience at the company, made a plea-bargain agreement with the Brazilian prosecutor’s office that is also probing the allegations. The scale of alleged bribery or identity of the UK-based agent is yet to be ascertained.

The 2008 deal was a step in the defence cooperation between India and Brazil. Embraer has a strong presence in India with 28 aircraft of various market segments, including 21 executive jets. The company is now the market leader, delivering 35% of the executive jets in India over the last 5 years.