Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties worth Rs 1.20 crore of former Goa CM Digambar Kamat and Rs 75 lakh of MLA Churchill Alemao in the Louis Berger case on Thursday. The US-based firm Louis Berger has allegedly bribed Indian officials to avail developmental projects in Goa. ED said it issued a provisional order, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It attached Rs 1.20 crore properties which include land in the Gogal area, residential building at Taligao and fixed deposits worth Rs 41.35 lakh of Kamat, PTI reported. Eight apartments in Varca village worth Rs 75 lakh (book value) of Alemao, the lone NCP MLA is also attached. The case emerged in 2015, when Louis Berger admitted that it bribed Indian officials to get two major water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati.
One was a Rs 1,031-crore project, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which then Digamber Kamat government had approved. The consultancy for the project for augmenting water supply in south Goa and laying sewerage lines in the state’s major cities in 2009 was given to Louis Berger. Kamat however, had denied links to the case in many reports and said he is being framed.
JICA director and Louis Berger vice president were arrested earlier in the matter. A sum of USD 976, 000 were taken as bribe to grant this contract, it is alleged according to PTI. It emerged in 2015, when the firm admitted to have violated US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to pay a penalty of 17 million dollars to resolve the case, NewsX reported.
The Crime Branch was tracking the money trail that leads to Kamat and Churchill Alemao. Alemao was jailed for over two months, from August to October in 2015, for his involvement in the mutli-crore scam.