Sources in the CBI Wednesday claimed “a breakthrough” in the agency’s probe into allegations of corruption in the purchase of three Embraer aircraft in 2008, saying their investigation showed that around $5.5 million was paid by Embraer to a middleman based abroad.
“The CBI is now contacting some foreign enforcement agencies to ascertain details of the payment,” a CBI source said.
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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had signed a $208-million deal with Embraer for three ERJ-145 aircraft for a project to build indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems for the Indian Air Force.
On September 17, the CBI instituted a preliminary enquiry (PE) against unknown officials of the Ministry of Defence and others in connection with allegations of corruption in the Embraer deal. The PE had been registered on a reference from the Ministry of Defence, CBI officials said.
Allegations of a commission being paid in the deal had surfaced in a Brazilian paper.