The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached movable and immovable assets worth ₹8.70 crore held in the name of Turbotech Energy Services International (Turbotech), its owners Ashok Patni and his family members, suspecting it to be part of a commission received from London-based Rolls Royce to clinch deals with three PSUs from 2007 to 2011.

The ED had taken up the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had registered a case on a complaint from Defence Ministry alleging that leading car and engine manufacturer Rolls Royce had paid a bribe of ₹77 crore to Singapore-based Ashok Patni and his company Aashmore for getting various contracts with PSUs Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Oil and Natural Gas and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) .

Commission payments

Aashmore had further tied up with another India-based company of Patni family, Turbotech , whose assets have been attached by the ED.

Rolls Royce appointed Ashok Patni, Director of M/s Aashmore , Singapore, as commercial advisor in India for providing sales, logistic support, local business expertise and strategic advice in violation of terms and conditions of Purchase Orders (POs) and Integrity Pact with the three PSUs, pointed out the ED.

“During the course of investigation, M/s Rolls Royce admitted that it had made commission payments to Ashok Patni and his associated entities in violation of the integrity pact in respect of various purchase orders placed before ONGC, HAL and GAIL and also confirmed the payment of settlement amount approximately,” the ED revealed.

Investigation

The ED charged that ₹80 crore as commission/fees was paid to Ashok Patni who was facilitating contracts with the ONGC, HAL and GAIL, which are proceeds of crime in this case. The agency is further investigating to ascertain whether Rolls Royce has made commission payments in other purchase orders/contracts in violation of the terms of contracts.

Rolls Royce had entered into agreements with HAL, ONGC and GAIL for supply of spare parts and services of engines. In case of supply of spare parts and services, M/s Rolls Royce paid commission to Ashok Patni of M/s Aashmore at the rate of 10-11.3 per cent of the value of each purchase order, which was not declared prior to execution of the contract, the ED charged.

The ED, which had registered an FIR two years ago, said it was also probing that a part of payments made by Rolls Royce to Patni and his associated companies is suspected to have been passed off as kickbacks to unknown officials of HAL, ONGC and GAIL who were involved in the procurement process.

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