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Louis Berger bribery case: Goa court rejects Churchill Alemao bail plea

Churchill who was arrested by the Goa police on August 6 moved a fresh application citing parity as co-accused Digambar Kamat was granted protection bail by the same court last week.

Written by Rashmi Rajput | Mumbai |
Updated: August 24, 2015 12:44:53 pm
Louis Berger bribery Case, Louis Berger case, Churchill Alemao, Churchill Alemao arrested, Alemao arrested, Louis Berger, Louis Berger bribery scandal, digambar kamat bribery, goa bribery scandal, digambar kamat, Indian express, india news, nation news Goa Crime Branch officials arrested ex PWD Minister of Goa Churchill Alemao in the Louis Berger bribery case for the JICA project in Panaji. (Source: PTI photo)

A special court in Goa rejected the bail application filed by former State PWD minister Churchill Alemao on Monday. Two former Congress leaders Churchill and Digambar Kamat are currently in dock for allegedly receiving kick-backs in the multi crore Louis Berger scam.

Churchill who was arrested by the Goa police on August 6 moved a fresh application citing parity as co-accused Kamay was granted protection bail by the same court last week.

On July 21, the Crime Branch had registered an FIR against unknown ministers in the Congress government in Goa in 2010 and company officials, and commenced its probe. The Goa Police on 6 August arrested former Goa PWD minister Churchill Alemao for his alleged involvement in the Louis Berger bribery case. The Goa Crime Branch has claimed to have unearthed the money trail which involves a Goa-based hawala operator. On July 21, the Crime Branch registered an FIR against unknown ministers in the 2010 Goa government, and company officials, and commenced its probe. Alemao is the third arrest in the case.

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Both Alemao and Kamat have denied all allegations against them. The Louis Berger Group bribery case came to light when the company admitted to violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a penalty of $17.1 million to resolve charges that it bribed foreign officials before the US Justice Department in July.

In India, the company is accused of bribing officials to win two major water projects in Goa and Guwahati. The beneficiaries of the $9,76,630 paid for the Goa project in August 2010 allegedly included a minister. The Louis Berger Group company was part of a consultancy consortium with two Japanese firms and an Indian partner appointed to manage the $ 311 million Goa water supply and sewerage project awarded in 2009.

On August 7, the Enforcement Directorate had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) which is equivalent to an FIR registered under the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure. The ECIR was registered against ‘unknown ministers’ under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act, after the police received the FIR registered by the Goa police.

So far four people including Churchill, former vice-president of Louis Berger Satyakam Mohanty, head of JICA-aided project in Goa Anand Wachasunder and alleged hawala dealer Raychand Soni have been arrested in the case. Of them, Mohanty and Raychand Soon have been granted bail by the district court.

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