The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a case against unknown officials of the Air Force, the Defence Ministry, arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and officials of Swiss-based plane-maker Pilatus Aircraft Ltd over alleged irregularities in procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft in 2009. The CBI alleged kickbacks up to Rs 339 crore were paid in the deal. The CBI raided properties owned by Mr Bhandari and other accused in and around Delhi on Friday. The scope of the investigation into the activities of Mr Bhandari first widened in June 2016 to involve India’s acquisition of the Swiss-made basic trainer aircraft (BTA). When the Manmohan Singh government had signed a Rs 2,896 crore deal for 75 BTA with Pilatus Aircraft in May 2012, the competitors had red flagged the purchase.
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