Deepak Talwar has begun singing before the Enforcement Directorate. He has told ED that he struck several deals with Airbus under the UPA regime with the help of missile maker MBDA. Now the ED has summoned MBDA's India head to explain the visibly dubious deal.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Loïc Piedevache, the Indian head of MBDA. This is a European manufacturer of missiles and a major missile supplier to several fighter aircraft manufacturers.
This follows the confessions by corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar before the ED where he revealed his association with Piedevache.
It is especially with Airbus that Talwar struck several deals under the UPA regime. MBDA and Airbus paid Talwar's NGO Advantage India Rs 88 crore between June 11, 2012, and April 17, 2015. Later, the entire money was withdrawn in cash by using "fake purchases" under the benign gaze of the Congress-led government.
Airbus holds stakes in MBDA
MBDA's buyers include companies including Dassault Aviation that makes Rafale and its competitors like the makers of Eurofighter Typhoon namely BAE Systems, Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Group and Eurofighter GmbH.
Piedevache was summoned to join the probe in connection with the company's links to Talwar, who was extradited from Dubai last month.
Piedevache, according to sources, has been asked to report to ED’s Delhi unit on Monday. He is expected to be questioned on
a) the company's engagement with some officers of the Indian forces during the UPA rule and
b) payments to Talwar’s NGO
"If required, the probe agency may also summon the group export director Jean-Luc Lamothe. First of all, Piedevache would be asked to explain the company's payments to Talwar's NGO," an officer said, as reported.
Piedevache joined MBDA in 2007 and is currently serving as the company’s country head – India (and vice president of export sales, India).
A caveat: Since Indian private sector giant Larsen & Toubro entered a collaboration with MBDA, and for the fact that the joint venture will supply missiles to Rafale because L&T is one of the offset partners of Dassault, the investigation may affect India’s defence preparedness.
Last Updated Feb 18, 2019, 6:35 PM IST