There has been a nationwide debate over last couple of years or so about Anil Ambani owned company getting offset contract of Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation. The opposition parties and mainly Rahul Gandhi led Congress have accused the Narendra Modi government of providing unfair benefits to Anil Ambani by recommending him as an offset partner to Dassault.
The government on the other hand is maintained that Anil Ambani’s company was selected by Dassault itself as an offset partner and there were no recommendations. However, now some recently accessed papers suggest that companies associated with Rahul Gandhi’s business partner Ulrik Mcknight were made the offset partner in a defense deal with French firm Naval Group for Scorpene submarines during UPA regime.
This, Mr. Ulrik Mcknight was a co-owner of Rahul Gandhi’s British company Backops Limited which was functional from early 2000’s to 2009. Mcknight owned 35% shares in the company while the majority of 65% remained with Gandhi.
In 2011, as part of its offset obligations, French defence manufacturing company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) had signed a contract with Visakhapatnam-based Flash Forge Private Limited for the supply of critical parts for the Scorpene submarines being built at Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
The French firm was under contract to work with MDL to build six Scorpene submarines under a contract worth approximately Rs 20,000 crore. In the same financial year, the Indian firm Flash Forge acquired a UK based company named Optical Armour Limited.
Next year in November 2012, two of Flash Forge directors were given directorship of Optical Armour Limited. On November 8, 2012, the day these two individuals assumed the directorship of the UK Company Ulrik Mcknight was also given directorship of the company. That’s not all, according to the filings made by Optical Armour in 2014 McKnight was allotted 4.9% shares by the firm.