Facing the heat of a CBI probe in an alleged bribery scandal, British firm Rolls Royce has written to the state-owned HAL that it was ready to return Rs 18 crore paid by it to its commission agents to the government.
The defence ministry ordered a CBI probe into Rolls Royce’s alleged hiring of middlemen in contracts worth around Rs 10,000 crore for supplying aircraft engines to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).
Rolls Royce has written a letter to the HAL on March 5 claiming that it has paid only 1. 8 million pounds (Rs 18 crore) as commission to its agent Aashmore Private Limited and was willing to return that amount to the Government, senior government sources told PTI here.
The aerospace PSU is now planning to forward the letter to the government for further action on the matter, they said.
The defence ministry has already put on hold all existing and future deals with Rolls Royce pending a CBI probe ordered into allegations of bribery and engaging middlemen in contracts for supply of aircraft engines to HAL.
HAL has also been asked to take action to recover from the London-based Rolls Royce the money paid by it to its commission agents.
The decisions were taken even as Rolls Royce in a letter written to HAL in December last admitted it had employed a Singapore-based person identified as Ashok Patni and his firm Aashmore Private Limited as “commercial adviser” in India, providing sales and logistical support, local business support and “strategic advice.”
“The firm has informed HAL that it has paid commissions to Aashmore Private Limited for clinching military deals and the amount ranged ranged between 10 and 11.3%,” sources said.