Arms dealer’s wife in MoD, triggers row

Anca Maria Neacsu, the wife of an alleged arms-dealer reportedly met senior officials in the Ministry of Defence to secure a high-value deal.

Updated: Jul 20, 2012, 13:56 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Raising a question mark on the extent of access being given to the arms dealers in the power centres, a report now claims that the wife of an alleged arms-dealer reportedly met senior officials in the Ministry of Defence to secure a high-value deal.

As per documents accessed by Zee News, Anca Maria Neacsu, the Romanian wife of alleged arms-dealer Abhishek Verma, who is currently lodged in the Tihar jail following his arrest by the CBI, was lobbying hard with politicians and top ranking bureaucrats on a regular basis.

Anca, who handled the India wing of arms manufacturing company Sig Sauer- famous for making handguns, sniper rifles and carbines- sought a formal appointment with MoS for Defence M M Pallam Raju and other top officials.

After proper verifications, Anca was allowed to meet Pallam Raju, Defence Production Secretary Shekhar Agarwal and Director-General of Defence Acquisitions Vivek Rae, one after the other in South Block, on December 7 last year.

The matter came to fore after Verma was arrested by the CBI in connection with the controversial Tatra Trucks deal for Indian Army on June 8.

Following his interrogation, it emerged that Anca was his wife and his links with Sig Sauer was also established.

Verma’s arrest and subsequent probe by the investigating agency later revealed how arms agents continue to have free and unfettered access to Ministry of Defence, its confidential documents.

The development further exposed the deep nexus between top MoD officials, armed forces and arms dealers, who get engaged in intense lobbying to secure lucrative arms deal.
In light of the revelations, a visibly embarrassed Defence Ministry issued a statement saying, “The four-member Sig Sauer delegation, including its owner Michael Lueke and Anca, did meet Raju, Rae and Agarwal on that day. They were routine meetings. Senior MoD officials are authorized to meet representatives of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).”

The MoD also said that it was "a normal and routine practice" for its top officials to interact with representatives of OEMs.

What is a matter of serious concern is the fact that Verma`s estranged US-based business partner C Edmonds Allen recently gave a set of highly-classified MoD documents to probe agency, which pertains to the crucial Defence Acquisitions Council meetings chaired by Defence Minister AK Antony and reports on India`s largest submarine manufacturing project in the pipeline.

The shocking disclosures have once again exposed the gaps and existing loopholes in our political establishment and its easy vulnerability by those seeking to take advantage of the situation.