Tatra deal: ED probing Rs 170 crore cash inflow
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate is probing alleged cash inflow of about Rs 170 crore into Indian companies in connection with supply of Tatra trucks to the Army.
The agency has recently sent judicial requests to the UK and Hong Kong in connection with a money laundering probe.
The suspect funds were received by five Indian companies through three banks, according to sources in the agency probing the case.
The agency has dispatched the requests, called Letters Rogatory (LRs) in judicial terminology, after a special court here recently allowed its plea in this regard.
ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in April last year against Vectra Chairman Ravi Rishi and few other firms after former Army chief Gen VK Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe in September 2010 to clear the purchase of a tranche of 1,676 Tatra trucks for the Army.
The LRs, according to the sources, have been sent to the UK as Tatra Sipox is based there. Rishi is a Director of the firm.
The other LR has been sent to Hong Kong as Venus Projects, which held substantial shares (50 per cent till 2009) in Tatra Sipox is based there.
The ED is probing the company structure, business dealings in India and across the globe and the share holding patterns of these firms for which the LRs have been dispatched, they said.
ED has also been probing the dealings of executives of Tatra Sipox with officials of the Defence Ministry and the Army, the sources said.
The LRs to the two countries have also requested information about banking transactions and other regular business filings of the firms available with respective regulatory bodies there, they said.
The CBI has alleged that Tatra Sipox, UK, signed the truck supply deal with defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd which was in alleged violation of defence procurement rules. The rules state that procurement should be done directly from original equipment manufacturer only.
It has alleged that since Tatra Sipox, UK, was not the original manufacturer of these all-terrain trucks, the rule that defence procurements should be made from original manufacturer was allegedly violated.
On its part, the ED is looking into transactions carried out by Tatra Sipox, UK, in countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic and Lichtenstein.