Arms deal case: CBI, ED teams in US to probe



New Delhi: A joint team of CBI and ED has gone to the US to get details related to alleged kickback of USD 5.30 lakh paid by a Germany-based defence firm to businessman Abhishek Verma as part of a judicial request to help investigation being done by them.

The team will pursue a Letters Rogatory sent to the US to gather evidence including select financial transactions by Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (RAD), which had allegedly given the kickback to Verma, to stop blacklisting proceedings initiated by Defence Ministry here against it, official sources said.

The money was allegedly routed through the accounts of a firm -- Ganton USA -- headed by C Edmond Allen, estranged business associate of Verma.

Verma, an arms dealer, has been booked by CBI and ED for his alleged involvement in corruption and forgery cases.

The probe team is also likely to record the statement of Allen there, sources said.

Verma, who is also an accused in Naval War Room leak case, and his Romanian wife Anca are currently under judicial custody in Tihar Jail.

The agency has booked Verma and his wife for allegedly receiving USD 5,30,000 from the RAD for using their influence to stall blacklisting proceedings against it by Indian government.

During the investigation, CBI has come across several forged letters which were provided to it by Allen which included a purported letter on the letter head of the then Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken and another fabricated letter in the name of its Superintendent of Police.

Allen had also provided tranche of secret defence documents to CBI which were allegedly provided to him by Verma.

Based on these documents CBI had registered two more cases against him--alleged violation of Official Secrets Act and forgery on the letterhead of Maken.

Verma is also facing a probe by ED in connection with a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

PTI