Skip to main content

Nepal: Helicopters

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, (1) what the terms of reference were of the investigation; and what the length and cost was of that investigation; (292129)

(2) what allegations were investigated by the Police Fraud Squad.

Detectives from the Ministry of Defence Police Fraud Squad (MDPFS) Anti Corruption Unit began a criminal investigation in June 2007 and delivered their findings in April 2008.

The MDPFS were tasked to investigate the following:

Was there any criminality evident in the procurement and gifting of the helicopters, by any UK MOD, overseas personnel, or contractors involved in the procurement process?

Was there any misappropriation of Government funds?

Were the procured helicopters value for money in respect of Government Funds being used for purchase?

The cost of this investigation, which ensued as a result of an inquiry made by the Defence Fraud Analysis Unit in August 2007, was £500, covering travel and expenses incurred, but not salary costs. The costs of salary relating to this investigation are not held centrally and cannot be provided.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, from what country the helicopters were purchased; and through what agency the purchase was organised. (292131)

In August 2002, the Directorate of Overseas Military Activity (DOMA) appointed Crown Agents to act for and on behalf of HM Government. The helicopters were procured from a company in Belarus.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, what conclusion was reached by the investigation on whether (a) the new production model M1-17s were delivered to the Royal Nepal Army and (b) the mainframe numbers and the numbers in the aircraft logbooks matched. (292132)

The investigation stated that two helicopters were procured and gifted to the Government of Nepal in accordance with the Letter of Agreement, and that the Royal Nepal Army became the end user of the helicopters. The two helicopters were not new production models, but they had been subject to a complete overhaul prior to purchase and subsequent gifting to the Government of Nepal.

The investigation found that there was no evidence to suggest that the mainframe numbers and logbook numbers did not match, and that all logbooks and service records were signed as correct on date of purchase.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, whether the Police Fraud Squad made any recommendations as a result of the investigation. (292133)

With the investigation concluding that there was no evidence of criminality in the procurement and purchase process of these helicopters, nor any misappropriation or misuse of UK Government funds, the Ministry of Defence police fraud squad made no recommendations.