Rafale Scam: The Tale of Two CEOs. Who is lying?
Reliance Infrastructure had claimed in its annual report that its JV with Dassault will discharge offset obligations of Rs 30,000 crore, which runs contrary to Dassault CEO Eric Trappier's bombast.
On Tuesday, in a tepid attempt to defend himself and Modi government, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier told news agency ANI, “I don’t lie. The truth I declared before and the statements I made are true. I don’t have a reputation of lying. In my position as CEO, you don’t lie.”
“We have already settled work and agreement with 30 companies, which represents 40 per cent of total offset obligation as per contract. Reliance is ten per cent out of the 40, while rest 30 per cent is a direct agreement between these companies and Dassault,” he told ANI.
Well, the French CEO may like to have a look at Reliance Infrastructure’s annual report for 2016-17. Signed personally by Anil Ambani, it states that “we have joined hands with Dassault Aviation of France as the key offset partner with respect to supply of 36 Rafale Aircrafts (sic). The offer contract at about Rs 30,000 crore is the largest ever offset contract of India.”
Referring to the JV company formed with Dassault, Ambani then notes, “The JV company will be a key player in the execution of offset obligation, including the entire Life Cycle Performance Based Logistics for the 36 fighter aircraft, valued at about INR 30,000 crore. This is part of the purchase agreement between the Indian and French Governments.”
“The Joint Venture shall facilitate the transfer of high end technology, while discharging offset obligations of INR 30,000 crore,” the annual report again reiterates. Either Ambani was telling the truth— which means that Trappier is lying — or CEOs do tell lies.
PS — Trappier also claimed that “My company is clean”. As French journalist Julien Bouissou noted, “It has not been always the case. The former director of Dassault aviation received in 1998 an 18 month probationary sentence for bribery. He had bribed numerous Belgium politicians in 1988 in order to secure a contract.”
Journalist Rohini Singh also remind Trappier that “In 2017 billionaire Serge Dassault of Dassault Aviation was convicted of tax fraud & escaped prison only because of his age. He was stripped of mayorship in 2009 for luring voters to influence his election. Company heads do lie, Mr Trappier. And they also indulge in criminality.”