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Louis Berger probe: Former Goa CM appears before crime branch

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat on Wednesday appeared before the state police crime branch in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case.

Earlier in the day, the Congress legislator from Margao constituency maintained his innocence and said he did not meet anyone from Louis Berger.

The New Jersey-based international consultancy firm’s officials have admitted to paying $976,630-bribe for securing water and sewerage project funded by a Japanese government agency.

“I have nothing to do with Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) project. The file did not come to me,” Kamat said.

The crime branch has already arrested Anand Wachasunder, a key official in charge of the JICA project and questioned former public works department minister Churchill Alemao in the bribery case on two occasions.

Top officials of Louis Berger have pleaded guilty to offering bribes of $3.9 million to secure contracts in countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.

While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who offered the bribes, the documents revealed that $976,630 in bribes was paid during 2009-2010 to a Goa minister and other officials.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium that eventually won a contract to execute a water and sewerage project in Goa, funded by JICA.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Seven people, including Louis Berger officials summoned by ED

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Panaji: Seven people, including Louis Berger officials and one alleged hawala operator were issued summons by The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday.

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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.

(With inputs from IANS)

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