After VVIP helicopter scam, now, another defence deal is under scrutiny. A US $208-million Embraer jet deal inked during the UPA government has come under inspection of the US authorities over alleged kickbacks paid to secure the contract.
Brazil and the US are investigating alleged bribery by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to ink deals with India and Saudi.
The deal was signed in 2008 between the Brazalian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and the the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control systems).
The company has been under investigation by the United States Justice Department since 2010 when a contract with the Dominican Republic raised US' suspicion.
"Investigations that have been opened by the government of the United States to establish whether Embraer paid bribes in order to obtain contracts abroad have affected deals that the Brazilian company closed with Saudi Arabia and India," Brazalian newspaper Folha De Sao Paulo reported.
It is suspected that a leading Indian middleman based in UK was roped in for the deal.
Defence Ministry officials in New Delhi said that the DRDO is yet to hear anything on the probe by the US authorities.
According to news agency PTI, DRDO chief S Christopher, who headed the AEW&C programme previously, did not answer phone calls or respond to messages.
Since then, the investigation has widened to examine business dealings with eight more countries.
Embraer is cooperating with the investigations and announced in July that it was expecting to reach a deal soon with American authorities, the paper said.
The company has put US $200 million aside to pay any eventual fines that come about as a result of the process.