Bala and the wider French probe into DCN

Officers of the National Financial Investigation Division (DNIF) of France are responsible for probing into the conditions of sale of submarines to Malaysia, especially a related 114 million euro payment, a French website has revealed.

The DNIF is a divison of the Central Directorate of Judicial Police (DCPJ) based in Nanterre near Paris. This was where Bala was questioned on Monday.

The DCPJ is the national authority of the criminal division of the French police tasked with leading and coordinating the actions of law enforcement forces (Police Nationale and Gendarmerie Nationale) against organised crime (either criminal or financial activities). In carrying out its investigations, the DCPJ works with other institutions such as the Customs and Revenue Service, according to Wikipedia.

The implications of the DCN investigation are serious: the bribery of foreign public officials is punishable in France since June 2000 with ten years’ imprisonment and a 150,000-euro fine, said the Liberation website.

Leaders of the weapons consortium have already come under two financial investigations. Since February 2008, investigative judges Francoise Desset and Jean-Christophe Hullin have been looking into “bribery and corruption” involving DCN deals. Earlier this year, a preliminary investigation was opened into an attack in Karachi linked to the sale of Agosta submarines to Pakistan in 1994, reported Liberation.

Meanwhile, several officials have already been placed under investigation in the wider DCN affair involving deals with other countries, noted the respected French media group Le Monde with AFP on 29 June: