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US bribery case: Two former ministers may be involved, says Parrikar

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday hinted that two former ministers might be involved in the alleged bribery case involving a US firm over a water developmental scheme in the state.



Panaji: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday hinted that two former ministers might be involved in the alleged bribery case involving a US firm over a water developmental scheme in the state.

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had earlier today said he will demand a CBI inquiry into the allegations.

US firm Louis Berger has been charged with bribing Indian officials for several crores to win two major water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati.

"Since the work was related to JAICA (Japan International funding project), then PWD Minister might be involved, but moreover since it is dealing with the financial approval for the project, there is likelihood that one more minister may be involved," Parrikar said, addressing BJP workers in Goa's Margao town today.

"The incident happened when Digambar Kamat-led government was in power," Parrikar, former Goa Chief Minister said while refusing to name any minister.

An inquiry by CBI into the entire episode will reveal the truth behind the bribery, he said.

Meanwhile, CM Parsekar told reporters here this morning that, "Since it is an international matter, Goa police can't investigate it. That is why the government has decided to write to Prime Minister and Union Home Minister demanding a CBI inquiry into it. Truth should be revealed to the people."

"When the contracts were awarded, Congress leader Digambar Kamat was the Chief Minister and Churchill Alemao was Public Works Department Minister. Now it should be revealed which minister took the bribe," Parsekar said.

The bribery of USD 976,630 for a Goa project by Louis Berger included payments to a minister, details of which have not been disclosed by the US Department of Justice.

Two days back, the company agreed to pay USD 17.1 million

criminal fine to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.

Two of its former executives - Richard Hirsch (61) of Philippines and James McClung (59) of the UAE - pleaded guilty to the charges.

The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa. The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.

The team developed a project management information system and plan, evaluated bids, reviewed design and construction plans, and ensured quality work was done on time and within budget, the company says on its website.

Federal prosecutors, in their 11-page charge sheet, alleged that Louis Berger maintained a detailed diary and account of bribery made to Indian officials. 

From Zee News

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