The Central Bureau of Investigation has begun its probe into the 2012 Pilatus aircraft deal by the previous UPA government. A preliminary enquiry (PE) was registered after going through the Income Tax investigation report against Sanjay Bhandari, the defence dealer. Bhandari is currently not in India.
Following a raid in 2016 by the IT department a trove of documents had been seized. One of the documents allegedly showed a payment of7,50,000 Swiss Francs from Pilatus to Bhandari. The CBI will now probe why this amount was transferred to Bhandari.
The CBI would also go into the emails exchanged in connection with a property deal in London which allegedly link Bhandari to Robert Vadra. While the PE would help the CBI ascertain the nature of the alleged offence, a full fledged probe would be launched after that.
The Pilatus deal amounting to Rs 2,900 crore was signed by the UPA government to procure 75 basic trainer aircraft (BTA) from the Swiss firm. The aircraft, according to investigators, was chosen over American-made Beechcraft T-6C Texan II and the South Korean KT-1 aircraft.