Aero India is nearly a month in the past, but the semi-annual roar-over-Bangalore is back in the headlines. The India Today newsmagazine reported on Tuesday:
The Air Force has set up a court of inquiry against a wing commander for taking bribe from foreign aviation manufacturing companies to facilitate prominent static display of their aircraft during the recently concluded Aero-India 2011 exposition.
Wing Commander A.K. Thakur was caught accepting bribe from Dassault, France, for helping them display their aircraft prominently during the four-day held in Bangalore in mid-February.
The French company had informed the authorities when Thakur made the offer to them in exchange of an amount of Rs 20,000. On receiving the complaint, the defence exhibition organisation laid a trap and caught the wing commander red-handed.
Meanwhile, the Deccan Herald reports that ‘Honey Traps’ also may have been involved. That usually involves extortion, but their description makes it sound more like simple bribery-by-prostitute.
What has shocked the IAF community in Bangalore and the MoD is allegations that European women were employed to “soften up” officers who were involved with making arrangements for Aero India 2011.
A photograph of an Air Marshall in the company of a European woman believed to be a commercial sex worker has been found and which, along with a separate report, has been sent to the MoD in South Block, New Delhi.
It is clear, in any case, that bribery didn’t give any of the MMRCA bidders an upper-hand along the static line. This pan over the static line from Flightglobal’s video team shows the organizers filed the fighters in a neat line.