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India blacklists defense companies

March 7, 2012 at 7:31 AM   |   Comments

NEW DELHI, March 7 (UPI) -- India has barred six defense companies from Israel, Singapore, Russia, Germany and two from India from bidding on contracts for a decade, officials said.

The firms include Israel Military Industries, Germany's Rheinmetall Air Defense, Russia Corporation Defense, Singapore Technologies Kinetics and TS Kishan and Co. Private Ltd., and RK Machine Tools, Sitanshu Kar, a spokesman for India's Defense Ministry told the Hindustan Times.

The Times of India reported Monday the firms will be barred from bidding for contracts for a decade because of alleged involvement in corruption. The names of the firms surfaced in an investigation by the India's Central Bureau of Investigation led by Sudipta Ghosh, the former director general of the Ordnance Factory Board, the newspaper said.

The report said India's Ministry of Defense wrote to the companies concerning the allegations, found their replies unsatisfactory and decided to bar them from engaging in business in India for 10 years, the paper said.

Israeli defense officials Tuesday told Haaretz they thought the hearing process for IMI was ongoing.

"The Defense Ministry was surprised to hear of the decision by the Indian Ministry of Defense because the hearing process for IMI against intent of imposing sanctions on it had not been completed, and especially since IMI had very good claims against the move," a statement released by Israel's Defense Ministry said.

IMI told the Israeli daily it will continue to work with Indian authorities to resolve the issue and intends to appeal, saying the conclusion is based on "erroneous facts."

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