The Tatra Scam

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by utubekhiladi, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    NEW DELHI: The Tatra trucks being supplied to the Indian Army are obsolete, running on fuel-guzzling old engines with mechanical transmissions that are years behind the rest of the world, Army sources said. The details are believed to be part of Army chief General V K Singh's inputs to the CBI.

    The severe shortcomings would be a key part of the CBI's inquiry into Gen Singh's allegation that he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe to order a fresh batch of "sub-standard" Tatra trucks. One of the key focus of the CBI is to find out if bribes and other inducements were offered by Tatra Sipox (UK) owned by Ravi Rishi to ensure that Army continued to buy these obsolete trucks. The agency is also trying to ascertain whether it was the reason why Tatra enjoyed a monopoly for the past 25 years in truck supply to the Army.

    With CBI investigations into the scandal picking pace, many new facts are emerging from the Army about how the entire contract for the all-terrain trucks were so biased in favour of the suppliers. As a result, there has been no major upgrade of its 1970s engine, except for it being made Euro II compliant in 2008.

    Ever since Bharat Earth Movers Limited ( BEML) signed its first contract in 1986 for buying trucks, Tatra AS of Czech Republic has primarily supplied the T-815 family of trucks to India. T-815 was developed in the early 1980s. According to those in the know, the only noticeable change made to the T-815 trucks is the upgrade of its engines to Euro II compliance. The engines of T-815 trucks remain 'air cooled', which are bulky and protrudes into the cabin space, as against 'liquid cooled' engines that are more modern, compact and more efficient.

    The 'air cooled' engines are low on power and have poor mileage. "Nobody seemed to have bothered about the technological transformations that have taken place in the automobile industry," an officer said about the fact that Army continues to use the same T-815 trucks even today. The T-815 trucks are fuel guzzlers. A truck that can carry 12 tonnes runs just 4 km on a liter of fuel. A source pointed out that Tatra's more advanced vehicles were far superior. "But we seem to have been a dumpyard for old vehicles," he said.

    Those familiar with the Tatra trucks also pointed out that Tatra AS has been using more advanced engines made by Renault, Cummins, Deutz etc for vehicles it has been supplying to other militaries - the Czech and Russian armies among others. "As far as I know, the T-815 is being supplied only to the Indian Army," an official said.


    'Tatra sold obsolete trucks to the Indian Army' - The Economic Times
     
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  3. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    All you wanted to know about the Tatra scam

    [​IMG]

    The Central Bureau of Investigation is inquiring into the irregularities, if any, in the purchase of the all-terrain Tatra vehicles by the Indian Army from the Bharat Earth Movers Limited.

    The serious charge of corruption in purchase of Tatra vehicles was made by Army Chief General V K Singh in a recent interview. Since 1986, the Indian Army has bought over 7,000 Tatra trucks.

    Rediff.com on the basis of first hand information accessed from the multiple sources tries to give answers to the frequently asked questions about the tainted deal.

    What are the allegations of corruption regarding the purchase of Tatra trucks?

    The allegation is about the very high cost of the Tatra trucks to the Indian army. Tatra AS is a Czech company who manufactured the world-class trucks. Tatra AS has undergone a change of ownership. (Those details a little later).

    The alleged dubious route though which trucks reached the Indian Army is the focus of the investigation by the CBI. If, what the sources in the army claim are true, then it is a serious allegation involving corruption worth crores of rupees.

    The allegation is that the deal worked like this:

    1. The Czech company sold the trucks to Venus Projects of Hong Kong, the trading arm of Vectra Worldwide, at a 35 per cent discount. (This is the first stage of loss to the Indian Army. The discount would have come to the purchaser, that is Indian Army, if a direct deal was struck with the manufacturer or a part of the discount could have been passed on to the Indian Army by the dealer/seller.)

    2. Venus Projects sells the trucks to Tatra Sipox (United Kingdom) Ltd. This UK-based company is the holding company of Vectra Worldwide, owned by controversial businessman Ravi Rishi. He need not pay tax on the deal because there is a no taxation treaty between the two countries. But the price of the Tatra trucks goes up by 30 per cent.

    3. Tatra Sipox then sells the inflated-priced trucks to BEML, the government owned company, after adding its profit of around 15 to 20 per cent.

    4. BEML sells these trucks to the Indian Army after adding 25 to 35 per cent.

    So, if you take into account the addition of transaction cost, commission, profit whatever you say at the four stages quoted above the Indian Army was getting the Tatra trucks paying 100 to 120 per cent higher than the factory price. This is what General Singh was complaining about. The CBI is, also, focusing on these dubious dealmakers at every stage.

    [​IMG]

    How does the Indian Army get spare parts?

    That is, probably, another scam. The Indian Army places orders through BEML for the spares. Tatra Sipox gets the intimation and forwards it to a company called Jupiter Slovakia, which is a holding company of Vectra Worldwide.

    Jupiter contacts the suppliers of the Tatra spare parts but it does not go to the original Czech company. Thus, the pricing of the spare parts is arbitrary and mostly exorbitant. The Indian Army ends up paying 200 to 300 percent more than the actual cost. Since, the spare parts are not acquired from Tatra AS one is not even sure of the quality.

    Is there any other such dubious deal?

    Yes. Brahmos, the Indian-Russian missile joint venture, needs cranes. BEML procures Atlas Cranes from Tatra Sipox. The same modus operandi is used by the Ravi Rishi. He gets it at around 35 per cent discount from Atlas Machinen GMBH, the German company that makes the cranes.

    Tatra hikes the cost by some 25 per cent or more and sells to BEML who in turn gives it to the Brahmos after adding its own margin. India pays some 75 per cent plus higher cost by not buying straight from the Germans.

    [​IMG]

    So, who is Ravi Rishi?

    Ravi Rishi (external link) is a known figure in the defence ministry, in the arms lobby of New Delhi and amongst the media men who cover the MoD.

    He was born in Rohtak, Haryana, and graduated from IIT, Delhi. He has good networking amongst ex-IITians. His father was a government contractor. He has also inherited from his father the 'network' amongst government officers who are pliable.

    Rishi is a typical operator. He allegedly has given nicknames to all his important contacts on Raisina Hill, the seat of power in New Delhi. But he never ventures into Raisina Hill.

    His contacts see him at his house or at secret places. He operates in New Delhi with his old friend Anil Mansharamani. Both studied together. Anil is managing director of Rishi's company. Rishi is a storehouse of information, tips and knowledge on all the Indian Army's purchases. Some say he is a smooth operator while some say he is a slimy businessman. The CBI should find out his real identity.

    It is alleged that he has made friends with many retired generals. They help him get to know the serving generals. He studies their profile, understands their needs and psyche and decides how to go about using them. Rishi, always, knows the process of new appointments of army men to sensitive postings. More importantly, he is well aware of the army's priorities in purchases. He saves time by contacting the global vendors much in advance of the actual procurement process.

    He is better equipped with facts to negotiate the final deals because the retired army men help him. His pattern of appointing retired army men in his company is unethical to say the least, says the army officer who knows him. He employs retired army men to influence the outcome of deals.

    A Punjabi-speaking former colonel helps Anil Mansharamani get appointments with key officers. The names of four retired senior army officers who helped Ravi Rishi flourish, including a lieutenant general who passed away recently, are with the CBI.

    When Czechoslovakia was divided into Slovakia and Czech Republic in 1993, Rishi bought many companies during the turmoil. He told a daily that he acquired 17 factories in 1991-92 when that country was in turmoil.

    The CBI has found that Rishi, also, operated, at another level with BEML. He co-opted BEML officers by tempting them to take early retirement.

    Rishi, always, knew through them what the BEML's current and future plans are. One of the chairman and managing directors of BEML was appointed in Rishi's company after his retirement. The malpractices allegedly began during his tenure. The CBI has carried out searches at the residence of current BEML chairman V R S Natarajan, in connection with alleged irregularities in tendering process for hiring a consultancy firm. He is not above board and has landed in trouble after the CBI inquiry was initiated against him.

    [​IMG]

    What is Vectra Worldwide?

    It's the parent company with Rishi having major interests.

    Their website (external link) tells us all. They have operations in the UK, India, France, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Canada, UAE, Russia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

    In India they have major interests. Vectra group is a family business headed by Rishi. It owns 100 per cent of Tatra Slovakia and nearly 66 percent of Tatra Czech Republic operations. Vectra sells trucks to 58 countries and 38 armies across the world including the US, Russia and Israel.

    They operate with help of ten companies in India. They manufacture a range of equipment including trucks, dumpers, tractors, construction equipment, oil tankers and special gears. They have huge establishment in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Bangalore, Karnataka. They also have a coach manufacturing company in Abu Dhabi, another company in Slovakia and a commodity trading firm in Russia.

    Vectra's Paris operation is headed by Anil Bidani. The Moscow operation was headed by Alexander Pozhilov but he has left the company recently. Nitin Sachdev, son of a retired defence service officer, handles the Bangalore office. Nitin is a son-in-law of a director in Hindustan Aeronautic Limited. The HAL work is handled by Nitin.

    The operations in New Delhi are handled by Anil Mansharamani. Swati Rishi, Dilip Singh, Captain Krishnamurty and Sunita Saighal are also key officers in their Indian operations.

    A few years back, Tatra AS was bought over by the American company Terex but they could not handle it. The assets and employees were stripped. Rishi entered at this stage and brought it in a distress sale through a consortium and reconstituted the board with him as a member and former US ambassador to Czech Republic William J Cabaniss as its chairman.

    The most important company for Rishi's gameplan is the Slovak operation. Jupiter Slovakia is headed by Bozena Durdovicova. Jupiter Slovakia is the key to the Tatra truck scandal. They are the people who dispatch trucks and many other things to BEML who, in turn, put the logo and hand it over to the Indian Army.
     
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  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Is that a Tatra? What model is that?
     
  5. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    i am not sure bro :(
     
  6. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    change this thread title to "All you wanted to know about the Tatra scam" and move 2nd post to the top
     
  7. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    One funny and shady thing i found was that while the TATRA scam has reduced the prospects of TATRA trucks remaining in service for long with the IA, KAMAZ is poised to take it's place very justified many would say as KAMAZ is also a very well known All-terrain truck manufacturer with a long history of military service just who owns KAMAZ in India you ask well , it's Mr Rishi again( this guy seems to have all the solutions dosen't he)read on below.

    Vectra Group - Group Companies - Kamaz Vectra Motors Ltd.
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    TATRA is a good truck.

    It should be upgraded.

    and if there are better ones than TATRA, they should be inducted after trials.
     
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  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Of course there are. I won't bet on UralAZ, but KamAZ can surely make trucks that IA needs.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If I am not mistaken we used to have Ural Trucks with some of the Russian equipment.
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Huh, I didn't know that Mr. Rishi also owns the Indian collaborator that has tied up with KamAZ. Good piece of info.

    Ok, so we are left with UralAZ, and of course, TATA and Ashok-Leyland.
     
  12. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Defence Ministry to cancel DRDO’s Tatra truck order
    Published September 16, 2012 | By admin

    SOURCE: PTI

    The Defence Ministry is planning to cancel the BEML order, worth over Rs 50 lakh, given to UK-based Tatra Sipox for supplying one truck, in the wake of the CBI probe into the allegations of irregularities in the supply of these vehicles.

    The order for the truck was placed by BEML in May for the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

    The Ministry is planing to cancel the order worth over Rs 50 lakh placed by BEML with the UK-based Tatra Sipox, sources told PTI here.

    When asked about the development, Defence Ministry’s Department of Defence Production refused to comment on it.

    BEML had written a letter to Tatra Sipox in May this year seeking urgent delivery of a Tatra truck for around Euro 88,000 (over Rs 50 lakh).

    The tie-up between BEML and UK-based Tatra Sipox for supplying Tatra trucks to the Indian forces has been under the scanner after former Army Chief Gen V K Singh alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a file for procuring over 600 such vehicles.

    After the allegations came to light on March 27, Defence Minister A K Antony ordered a CBI inquiry into the allegations.

    BEML’s Chairman and Managing Director V R S Natarajan has also been removed out of his office by the Ministry for ensuring a free and fair probe into the charges.

    BEML and Tatra have supplied more than 6,000 such heavy- duty trucks to the armed forces and the DRDO for carrying missiles and other heavy systems.

    Defence Ministry to cancel DRDO’s Tatra truck order | idrw.org
     
  13. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: All you wanted to know about the Tatra scam

    This whole article reminds me of the similar situation that was observed by me but I do not know if same kind of modus operandi was taking place. It is about a Delhi based company engaged in Airport sweeper manufactured under collaboration with a German company. The owner at that time had also employed ex-Airforce officer. I am wondering if this was also a some sort of a same set up as is the case of Tatra truck. If that is the case than Tatra is not a new scandal to me. But it should be pursued and the mess be cleaned up once for all even if it means jailing few retired Defense Officers.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I believe there is some instructions in the offing that defence officers on retirement cannot take up employment in defence related firms.

    The interesting part is that the Govt is going to apply this to Defence Officers.

    But the Govt is conveniently forgetting it is the Bureaucrats who have the final say and they are the real fish that one should catch!
     
  15. Ankit Purohit

    Ankit Purohit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Tata tata tata
     
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  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Get DESI TATA and A&L..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    But they are not capable as TATRA Sir..
     
  18. Ankit Purohit

    Ankit Purohit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chak de phatte ,ye hui na baat
     
  19. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Defence ministry to cancel DRDO's Tatra truck order
    PTI
    New Delhi, September 17, 2012

    The defence ministry is planning to cancel the BEML order, worth over Rs. 50 lakh, given to UK-based Tatra Sipox for supplying one truck, in the wake of the CBI probe into the allegations of irregularities in the supply of these vehicles. The order for the truck was placed by BEML in May
    for the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

    The Ministry is planing to cancel the order worth over Rs. 50 lakh placed by BEML with the UK-based Tatra Sipox, sources told PTI here......

    Defence ministry to cancel DRDO's Tatra truck order - Hindustan Times
     
  20. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    So now what will be the fate of the CMD of BEML. IIRChe had even threatened to file a case against the former COAS , and was denying any wrongdoing all over the media. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
     
  21. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, that is true.

    But they should take all of the guys, who ever deal with this contract.

    I mean, all of them, politicians, bureaucrats and defense personals.

    I hate these idiots.

    One of the best off road truck, TATRA.

    Just see what they did with it in India.
     

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