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NEW DELHI: Days after it was revealed that a deal signed in 2008 with aircraft manufacturer Embraer is under a joint investigation for bribery allegations by the US and Brazil, the Indian defence ministry has asked the CBI to probe the matter.

The quick decision to hand over the matter to the investigative agency was taken by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who had earlier sought a preliminary report on the 2008 deal under which the defence research and development organization (DRDO) purchased three Embraer jets for $ 210 million.

As reported by ET, the defence ministry had found itself in a peculiar situation as current DRDO Chief, Dr S Christopher, who had been asked to look into the matter was the one who had signed the deal in 2008 when he was heading the Center for Airborne Systems (CABS).

A senior MoD officials said that the decision to involve the CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate for a through probe has been taken and the ministry has already written to the agencies to take on the case. Separately, the ministry has also asked for a response from Embraer on the allegations.

As reported by ET, the US-Brazil inquiry into international bribery charges against Embraer that has already consumed a former defence minister of the Dominican Republic has been expanded to include sale of military aircraft to India.

Authorities in the US and Brazil are probing charges the company hired a middleman based out of England to bag the deal, an engagement that is against Indian military laws that prohibit middlemen.

Source>> Economic Times

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