In what may spell trouble for one of the leading armament corporations in the world, the CBI is moving the Interpol to issue a red corner notice against Bodo Garbe, one of the top executives and board member of Rheinmetall AG, a large defence conglomerate that has already been blacklisted by India on corruption charges.
The top executive who has been summoned several times by the CBI but has not travelled to India since the corruption case involving arms agent Abhishek Verma broke out, may have to surrender in case the investigative agency manages to put his name on the red corner list.
A few days ago, the CBI managed to obtain non-bailable warrants against Garbe and another executive Gerhard Hoy from a local court. The warrants were obtained after CBI informed the court that a red corner notice had to be opened by Interpol against the accused that demanded an open non-bailable warrant. It is, however, unclear how long the process of obtaining the red corner notice would take.
The executive is being sought by CBI that is probing a case of the company employing middleman Verma for getting it off a government blacklist for defence deals. Both the top executives of RAD, a major arms manufacturer that had annual sales of over Euro 2 billion, have till now not been served a notice as correspondence sent to their “last known address” has been returned. A special court has earlier ordered that summons be issued to the two executives “through diplomatic process”.
The investigation revolves around the payment of over $5,30,000 by the company to arms dealer Abhishek Verma to get its name off a banned list of defence companies in India. Before joining the executive board of RAD in 2011, Garbe was heading the Air Defence division of the company.
The allegations came to light last year after Verma’s former escrow agent C Edmonds Allen sent a complaint to Indian officials. A CBI charge sheet into the case says the money was paid by RAD to Verma’s company Ganton USA in January 2011 and was meant to bribe officials to get it off the blacklist.
RAD was one of the frontrunners to provide new anti-aircraft guns to the Army before all contracts and deals with it were frozen in 2009. It was recommended for blacklisting on allegations that the firm gave kickbacks to a former Director General Ordnance Factories.