The role of agents in materiel procurement – The Tribune

Rahul Bedi

Senior Journalist

Indian armament agents or ‘middlemen’ appear to have an explanation for the recent French media reports regarding the ‘unexplained’ payment of 1 million euros

(Rs 8.64 crore) by Dassault to a local businessman following the euro 7.87 billion (Rs 59,000 crore) deal with New Delhi for 36 Rafale fighters in 2016.

Several such intermediaries claim that the euro 1 million paid to the Gurgaon-based Defsys Solutions was a ‘success fee’ for assisting in the government-to-government Rafale buy for the Indian Air Force (IAF). “In all likelihood, this fee was for organising meetings between Indian and French officials and providing related logistic support for the tender,” said the representative of a European armament vendor in Delhi. The amount of 1 million euros, he added, was too paltry to be deemed a bribe in the euro 7.87 billion deal.

France’s Mediapart, an online investigative journal, had reported on

April 5 that their country’s Agence Francaise Anti-corruption (AFA) — analogous to India’s Comptroller and Auditor General — had stumbled upon this curious payment to Defsys whilst auditing Dassault’s business records. Dassault, for its part, had declared this to