Goa Crime Branch files FIR in Louis Berger bribery case

The Crime Branch of the Goa Police began its probe into the alleged payment of USD 976,630 in bribes to a state minister and officials by an international consultancy firm, media reports said on Tuesday.

Goa Crime Branch files FIR in Louis Berger bribery case
Pic Courtesy: DNA

Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch on Tuesday filed an FIR against "unknown" people in the Louis Berger international bribery case, in which a Goa minister and some bureaucrats are linked.

A senior official said the first information report (FIR) was made on charges of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Top officials of Louis Berger have already pleaded guilty in a US court to offering bribes to the tune of $3.9 million to secure contracts in Asian countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.

While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who were offered bribes, documents revealed that the amount of $976,630 in bribes was paid during 2009-2010 to a Goa minister and other officials to finalise a water and sewerage management project funded by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

The FIR was filed after lengthy questioning of Anand Wachasundar, project director of the water and sewage project.

Former chief minister Digambar Kamat and former Public Works Department minister Churchill Alemao could also come into the ambit of the bribery investigation, sources said. Both Kamat and Alemao have denied the allegation.