Singapore firm to help Indian arms probe

June 18, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Maktoob Business

A Singapore firm banned by India along with six other armaments companies said Wednesday it was willing to cooperate in an ongoing probe into allegations of corruption in defence deals.

Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd, which had been in the race for an artillery contract, also said it had not been informed of its blacklisting by the Indian defence ministry earlier this month.

The firm “has not received any official advisory from the Indian authority on the said matter,” United News of India (UNI) quoted company spokesman Gaius Ho as saying.

The spokesman said the company “has offered all cooperation to assist with any investigation as appropriate.”

“And it hopes that the ministry will quickly clear the matter,” UNI quoted Ho as saying.

“Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd. is a responsible company bound by stringent corporate governance. It has not in any way contravened regulations imposed by governments where it operates,” he said.

India froze deals worth $1.5 billion with seven companies including Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd earlier this month after police arrested a top defence ministry bureaucrat on charges he accepted bribes allegedly from the now blacklisted units.

India in 2007 also scrapped a $600 million deal with Eurocopter for 197 helicopters after allegations of corruption in the bidding process.

The helicopter unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company denied media allegations about the involvement of middlemen in the project.

Another deal for 22 attack helicopters was scrapped in March on similar charges.

India plans to spend $30 billion on arms purchases until 2012.

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