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#GuptaLeaks Exposes Canadian Government's Role in Gupta's Private Jet Purchase Deal

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In the unfolding revelations of #GuptaLeaks, the role of the Export Development Canada (EDC), the Canadian Government's state-owned agency, has come into question. As per the leaks, in late 2014 the agency allegedly concluded a $41-million financial deal with Westdawn Investments, owned by the controversial South African Gupta family, enabling them to purchase their notorious Bombardier business jet, which soon became infamous under the moniker ZS-OAK.

This jet has been in use by South African politicians and high-ranking officials for international travel. The sage of the leaked emails unveils that Bombardier Aerospace, along with EDC, might have compromised the fidelity of Canadian law by turning a blind eye to the Gupta family's political exposure and potential legal risks associated with the business transactions.

The Bombardier connection trails back to South Africa as the manufacturer is most known for supplying rail hardware and expertise to the Gautrain, the massive rail transit project linking Gautrain, Johannesburg, and Hatfield in Pretoria, post 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals.

An intricate web of allegations, including apparent transgressions of Canadian regulations, tainted due diligence procedures, and potential failure to carry out necessary examinations, is haunting both the Canadian manufacturer and EDC. The termination of the 'political exposure' rule that is strictly imposed by the EDC is also under scrutiny.

Further investigation confirms that Bombardier Aerospace took great interest in the Gupta family to secure the sale of their at least one Bombardier Global 6000-BD-700-1A10 business jet. Despite the controversies and the conflicts of interests, Bombardier remains a significant recipient of the Canadian welfare scheme, contributing $12-billion to the local GDP and providing employment to over 64,000 people.

With further revelations in the offing, Bombardier and EDC may be unwittingly walking a tightrope where irregularities and administration negligence might cast a shadow on their business transactions.

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