India blacklists Israeli defense firm amid corruption charges
India's Defense Ministry bars Israel Military Industries from bidding on defense contracts for 10 years, along with 5 other firms.
Israel Military Industries will be barred from submitting bids for Indian defense contracts for the next ten years, along with five other firms, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.
The decision followed an investigation in 2009 by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (the Indian equivalent of the American FBI(, which found that the companies had allegedly won past contracts through improper means, including bribing senior officials.
Following the investigation, the CBI recommended that action be taken against the companies. The firms were then given a chance to plead their case before the ministry. The latter, however, found their explanations insufficient.
The decision is expected to significantly impact Israel Military Industry's activities in India, as well as that of other Israeli defense firms.
Israeli defense industry sources said the decision could also stymie the government's efforts to privatize IMI, as India was considered one of its primary customers.
The other companies included in the blacklist were Singapore Technologies Kinetics, Rheinmetall Air Defence, Corporation Defence Russia, T.S. Kisan & Co. Pvt. Ltd. and R.K. Machine Tools Ltd.
Israel Military Industries said in response that it had not received any official notification regarding the move and therefore could not respond.
"IMI operated and operates according to the law and will continue operating vis a vis the Indian government to resolve the matter," the company added.