My friend who lives on the 21st floor and is reported to have been associated with every arms deal that India has entered in the last 30 years, has also got a letter from the President of Bofors. The letter reads:
Greetings to our oldest and most valued agent and thank you for your letter asking us to certify whether commissions were paid not.
I hereby personally certify that commissions were paid for the deals. The first of these was 30 years ago, when your government acquired a consignment of 303 rifles and LMGs from us. The commission was 12 per cent, which come to 120,000 dollars. We were happy with the deal, as, we hope, you were also.
Our records show that the second commission paid was three years later, in the matter of field guns. This was a considerably bigger arms deal and, consequently, the commission had to be lowered to nine per cent. However, the actual amount of commission was larger, running into 300,000 dollars. We have no complaints on that commission.
The big commission between us started about ten years later, after you had a change of Prime Minister. The government of India, after protracted negotiations, commissioned us to equip the artillery divisions with all the new technology arms. Even for those days, it was very big deal, and the commission ran into several million dollars.
At this stage, I would like to state that we at Bofors, and the parent Nobel Company, have found our dealings with you to be totally satisfactory. There has never been any haggling over the amounts of commission or their payments in time. And the mode of transaction also has been completely satisfactory, through Swiss banks and their numbered accounts, which assure complete secrecy.
To continue with the account of payment of commissions, since, according to your letter, you want everything to be mentioned, the next big deal between your government and Bofors was when we supplied a consignment of four track heavy mountain tanks. The commision paid was 700 million dollars and the money exchanged hands the day the deal was signed simultaneously in New Delhi and Stockholm.
This was followed by the new beat attracted anti-aircraft missiles that we supplied, and for which as for all other deals, a commission of seven per cent was made available.
In conclusion, we would like to state that we are grateful to you for all the commissions you have paid us over the years from your own personal account in order that we could sell the arms to your government at a reasonable amount.