The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a fresh FIR against naval war room leak accused Abhishek Verma and his associates and carried out raids at more than 10 places in Delhi. Verma,son of former Congress leader Srikant Verma,is accused of helping a Switzerland-based defence firm from getting blacklisted by bribing government officials. Verma is likely to be summoned for questioning by the CBI.
The agency swung into action after examining a complaint sent by Vermas former US-based associate C Edmonds Allen,who had alleged that Verma deposited a huge sum of money with him and opened an escrow account,in which $ 410 million were deposited. During examination of the complaint,the CBI stumbled upon evidence of Vermas involvement in the 2009 Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) case that it had investigated and recommended blacklisting of six firms to the Defence Ministry.
One of the firms was Switzerland-based Rheinmetall Air Defence AG,which had allegedly adopted illegal means to obtain the contract for supply of 35 MM revolver gun system by OFB. The MoD blacklisted the firms last year. When this matter of blacklisting was under process,Verma allegedly got in touch with the representatives of the Swiss company and assured them of help by influencing the public servants of Government of India to stall the process, said
CBI spokesperson and DIG Binita Thakur.
Sources said the Swiss firm paid $5,30,000 to Verma through his associates in Delhi by fund transfer to the bank account of a benami company of the accused in the US from the bank account of the blacklisted company. During investigation,the agency carried out searches at the premises of Verma and his associates,Vijay Chaudhary,Arjun Arora,Ravi Chauhan and Mahendra Sahni,an accused in the 2009 OFB scam.
The CBI claimed to have seized documents and account details of the suspects. It now plans to examine their overseas bank accounts.