Rafale deal | Sushen Gupta not involved, says his counsel

Counsel of arms dealer Sushen Gupta has termed the series of reports in the French media of kickbacks in the 2016 €7.87 billion Rafale deal between India and France as “false, baseless and mischievous”.

Counsel of Mr. Gupta, who is said to have received the kickbacks, said the reports seemed to be “motivated” and Mr. Gupta or his companies were “not involved” in any manner in the Rafale deal.

“It is preposterous to suggest that a private individual could have influenced a government to government transaction for the acquisition of 36 Rafale jets,” counsel said in a statement. “Sushen Gupta has never obtained or shared any classified government documents.”

Stating that Mr. Gupta is not and has never been a commercial agent in relation to defence deals, whether of Dassault or of any other entity, the statement said, “All transactions of Indian Avitronics are legitimate contracts and duly disclosed to concerned authorities.”

Mr. Gupta does not have any companies or bank accounts outside India and has never had any offshore dealings with Dassault, Thales or Safran as alleged, counsel said, while also stating that there have been no financial transactions whatsoever of Mr. Gupta or his companies with ‘IDS’, Interdev or Interstellar. “Sushen Gupta has always fully cooperated with all investigative agencies.”

In a three-part investigative series, Mediapart revealed how Mr. Gupta obtained crucial documents on the Indian negotiating team involved in the Rafale deal and supplied them to Dassault Aviation. It also said that Dassault paid €1 million to Defsys Solutions, one of the Gupta family’s Indian companies, for the production of 50 replica models of the Rafale jet but French authorities were not shown any proof that they were actually made.

In addition, the reports also stated citing documents Dassault and its French industrial partner Thales paid Mr. Gupta several million euros in secret commissions to offshore accounts and shell companies, using inflated invoices for software consulting.

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