Panaji: Seven people, including Louis Berger officials and one alleged hawala operator were issued summons by The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday.
The summons were issued in relation with a money laundering case filed in connection with the international bribery scandal involving the global consultancy company alongwith Goa’s politicians and bureaucrats.
Talking to reporters, a senior official of ED said that Satyakam Mohanty, Maladi Shivarama and Sanjay Jindal (former Louis Berger officials), Raichand Soni, an alleged hawala operator and three others were issued summons to appear before ED officials in Goa.
The ED officials have filed an Enforcement Case Investigation Record, following the bribery scandal.
Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, along with the then state public works department minister Churchill Alemao and other government officials have been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger consultancy firm.
The bribe was allegedly taken to secure implementation rights of a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa worth Rs.1,031 crore funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA), cleared in 2010 by a Congress-led coalition government.
While Alemao has been arrested, Kamat is currently out on anticipatory bail.
Soni, Mohanty and now former JICA director Anand Wachasundar have already been arrested by the Goa Police Crime Branch which is investigating the bribery case.
Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting, suggests Rajiv Somani, chairman and managing director of Drishti Marine, promoter of the state’s first private ferry service.
Somani, whose agency also operates a private lifeguard service along Goa’s coastline, said that the ferry service also adds to the range of offerings, in terms of “things to do” in Goa.
“The only model really close to this is the one in Venice where one can travel through waterways all the time,” Somani told IANS in an interview.
“The ferry service is more of a leisure experience. The picturesque ferry service adds to the range of offerings in terms of things to do in Goa for the hundreds and thousands of tourists who visit the state. Additionally, it also acts as a premium transit service for tourists and local residents.
“We are only targeting less than five percent of the population arriving at the airport. We understand that there are people willing to pay the fee for the trip,” he said, adding that the service would begin later this month when the tourism season begins to peak in the coastal state.
The daily ferry service will function with the help of two 40-seater, high-speed catamarans, which will ferry commuters between designated pick-up points like the state capital Panaji, heritage centres like Old Goa, beaches like Baga, Aguada and Sinquerim and the Dabolim airport.
The Airport Ferry Terminal is located at Baina beach, Vasco da Gama, and is approximately five kilometres from the Goa airport in Dabolim. A free shuttle service will be available between the ferry terminal and the airport for the convenience of passengers arriving at the airport.
Fares for the ferry service range from Rs 100 for a ride between Old Goa and Panaji to Rs 800 for a trip between the Airport Ferry Terminal (AFT) at Baina and Panaji.
The ferry will operate from 22 temporary jetties spread across the state, including tourism vantage points.”
In Phase 1 and 2 we are looking at a mix of about 22 jetties. Of these, 11 are existing jetties and 11 will be floating jetties which will be constructed by us. The present government jetties exist at Panaji, Old Goa, Chapora and Sinquerim, among other places,” he said.
Asked if the service would be competing with the state’s aggressive taxi lobby, which has been combative vis-a-vis introduction of alternative modes of mass transport, Somani said: “We are not competing with the taxi operators. One thing we were always clear about: We will not do anything which is competition to the local community”.
Somani also said that ferry services had immense potential in Goa, which is crisscrossed with waterways.
“Goa has an excellent network of waterways; what’s needed is the right kind of infrastructure. One doesn’t need to erect concrete jetties everywhere; a floating jetty like the one we are currently building in Baina works just as effectively,” he said, adding that the ferry would help better water-related experiences for visitors. (IANS)
Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”
The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”
Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)
Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.
A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.
Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.
Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”
In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.
“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”
He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.
According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.
The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.
Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)