At last, after eight years of a Central Bureau of Investigate (CBI) First Information Report (FIR), the Defence Ministry on Monday (Aug 24, 2020) decided to impose a one-year ban on the Vectra Group, the kingpin in the controversial Tatra Trucks purchase scandal in the Indian Army. There are two FIRs against this Vectra Group and its controversial promoter late Ravinder Rishi. First, the scandal broke out when the then Army Chief General V K Singh revealed an Rs.14 crores bribe offer for the purchase of Tatra Trucks. Now the case is framed for charges and the main accused is the bribe offerer Lt. General Tejinder Singh. Ravi Rishi passed away in mid-2016. He was arrested and later given bail in another CBI FIR regarding the purchasing case.
The one-year suspension of business dealings order has been approved by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and debars any Defence ministry entity from dealing with Vectra Advanced Engineering Private Ltd. for at least a year. CBI registered an FIR in the Tatra deal in 2012 but filed a closure report in 2014, saying it has no evidence to take the probe forward. However, the closure report was not been accepted by the court – the Special judge had questioned CBI’s plea to close the investigations due to lack of proof in November last year. Special Judge Pulastya Pramachala had said it is ‘shocking’ that the agency wanted to close the case but has not been able to produce the defence procurement manual that was applicable for military purchases prior to 2006 when the alleged scam involving the supply of trucks to the armed forces took place.
Now Vectra Group is operating through Ravi Rishi’s daughters Suruchi Rishi, Swati Rishi, Rati Rishi, and son Hemang Rishi, and wife Dipti Rishi.
General VK Singh Tweeted:
I was taught in the army to be never fazed by the enormity of a challenge. That is what inspired me to blow the whistle against #Tatra. A long-drawn battle against corruption is now bearing fruits. The world should sit up and listen.#FightAgainstCorruption #GenerallySaying pic.twitter.com/yXtp2Ej60F
— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) August 25, 2020
Inside story of Tatra Scandal and Vectra Group
This case is a classic case of how Defence dealers penetrate into every Government. PGurus did a series of reports on this. Vectra Group owner, the late Ravi Rishi was close with many Congress leaders and minting profits from the late 70s by supplying Tatra Trucks from Czechoslovakia at exorbitant rates after the country got divided. Ravi Rishi used his London firm Vectra Group and started over-invoicing the Indian Army with the connivance of all in power. Ravi Rishi’s friends ranged from Chidambaram to Sonia Gandhi. BJP leader Arun Jaitley was his neighbor in Delhi. When Jaitley became the Defence Minister, within months in 2014, he forced the CBI to close the case which was not yet accepted by the Court.
PGurus had reported in detail about the close links of Vectra Group and another fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, who is closely linked with Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Vectra Group was getting all set of contracts till 2019 through many of their subsidiary firms from Indian Navy, Army, Helicopter deals with ONGC and Home Ministry and many State Governments etc. London based late Ravi Rishi was a very good host and would arrange all kinds of wealth and pleasures in life to Indian politicians, top officers, journalists landing in London for several decades. Our London-based researchers have unearthed a lot of communications and photos in this regard. Now Vectra Group is operating through Ravi Rishi’s daughters Suruchi Rishi, Swati Rishi, Rati Rishi, and son Hemang Rishi, and wife Dipti Rishi. They are still involved in getting many offset contracts from Defence Ministry and Helicopter deals through shell firms.
Below is the list of five shell firms linked to controversial accused Vectra Group, promoted by accused late Ravi Rishi and fugitive Sanjay Bhandari.
- Vectra Investment Pvt Ltd.
- MIL Vehicles & Technology Pvt Ltd (JV with James Fisher Defence Services for Submarine Rescue Vehicles).
- Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd (providing Helicopter services to ONGC)
- Integrated Helicopter Services Pvt Ltd (Joint Venture with Russian Helicopters for Kamov 226 and Mi Series Helicopters in Defence)
- JFDMIL Technologies Pvt Ltd. (This firm recently got 300 crores worth serving of Brahmos Missiles platform related works. Tatra Trucks are used as a platform for Brahmos Missiles).
 Tatra Truck Scandal: One-year ban on Vectra group company – Aug 25, 2020 The Economic Times
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