NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has initiated a probe into the alleged supply of Chinese parts+ , which were being camouflaged as ‘Made in Germany’, for manufacturing the 155mm Dhanush guns, an indigenous version of Bofors gun.
Acting on a source information that fake and cheap Chinese parts were reaching the production line of indigenised Bofors guns, the agency has booked a Delhi-based firm Sidh Sales Syndicate and unknown officers of Guns Carriage Factory (GCF), Jabalpur for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.
Bofors artillery guns were used by army during the Kargil war in 1999 that gave Indian forces an upper hand over Pakistan military.
CBI, in an FIR lodged on Wednesday, alleged that the supplier connived with GCF officials to supply duplicate spare parts (bearings) used in the manufacture of Dhanush guns.
The GCF officials accepted Chinese manufactured ‘Wire Race Roller Bearings’ supplied by Sidh Sales Syndicate which were embossed as ‘CRB-Made in Germany’, said CBI.
The CBI said that the production and performance of the Dhanush gun is extremely crucial for India’s defence preparedness and “wire race roller bearing” is its vital component.
According to the FIR, a tender was floated for procurement of four such bearings according to the Rothe Erde drawing for 155 mm gun in which four firms had participated. The order was given to Sidh Sales Syndicate at the value of Rs 35.38 lakh in 2013.
The order was further increased to six bearings at the cost of Rs 53.07 lakh on August 27, 2014.
The company supplied two bearings each on three occasions between April 7, 2014 and August 12, 2014.
The company submitted ‘certificates in origin’ showing the bearings were procured from CRB Antriebstechnik, Germany. They were also embossed with the label, CRB-Made in Germany.
GCF tests showed that the bearings were unacceptable due to deviations in dimensions.
The company provided clarifications and assured that in case of non performance of the bearing due to manufacturing defects, they would replace the bearing free of cost and take corrective action for future supply.
“Consequently the bearings were accepted as a special case by unknown officials of GCF Jabalpur,” the CBI alleged.
Information gathered by the CBI suggested that the German company does not manufacture these parts. It showed that Sidh Sales Syndicate got the six bearings manufactured by Sino United Industries (Luyang) Ltd Henan, China.
CBI has seized several emails which were exchanged between China and Sidh Sales Syndicate.
The agency claimed that the letter from Germany shown by Sidh Sales was also on a forged letterhead and certificate of origin from Germany was also forged.
“The said forged letter and certificate were accepted by unidentified officials of GCF with ulterior motive and by abusing their official positions as such without ascertaining the genuineness of the said letter and certificates. This gave an undue advantage to Sidh Sales Syndicate and resulted in corresponding loss to the Government of India,” the FIR said.