Swiss Knifed RAD Bribery Case

Abhishek Verma with Wife Anca Neacsu
(File Photo: NewIndianExpress)
Shailesh Kumar
New Delhi
Switzerland has refused legal assistance in investigation of Swiss Company M/s Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD).

In reply to a question by Dr. P Venugopal, MoS Defence Rao Inderjit Singh told Lok Sabha that the Letter Rogatory (LR) sent by the CBI to Switzerland authorities has been turned down.

Arms dealer Abhishek Verma was arrested under Prevention of Corruption Act in June 2012 on charges of bribery to Government officials in connection with allegations that Swiss-based Rheinmetall Air Defence AG paid him $530,000 to use his influence to stop the company from being blacklisted.
The CBI had also charged Gerhard Hoy, the India representative of RAD, with bribery, along with Verma and arrested his Romania-born wife, Anca Neacsu.

Earlier, Rheinmetall Air Defence was blacklisted from doing business in India following corruption allegations, RAD, a part of Rheinmetall AG, a German automotive parts and defence group, however then had denied allegations. RAD was one of the frontrunners to provide new anti-aircraft guns to the Army before all contracts and deals with it were frozen.

CBI in its chargesheet alleged that RAD transferred $530,000 to a New York bank account belonging to Ganton Ltd, a Verma-owned America based company. According to CBI chargesheet, Abhishek Verma allegedly promised to stall the blacklisting process in exchange for money.

“Central Bureau of Investigation issued Letter Rogatory to the competent Judicial Authority / Attorney General in Confederation of Switzerland on 3.8.2012.  The said Letter Rogatory has been rejected by the Swiss authorities on 13.7.2015”, Rao Inderjit told to Parliament in a written reply.

The Swiss action is a set back to CBI. However, it is not certain on what basis Switzerland refused legal assistance. 

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