Goa Police ‘crack’ Louis Berger bribery case; quiz ex-Minister

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Published: July 29, 2015 8:36:10 AM

Goa Police today claimed to have cracked the Louis Berger bribery case and established the money trail as it quizzed former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao whose name has cropped up in the scandal.

Goa Police today claimed to have cracked the Louis Berger bribery case and established the money trail as it quizzed former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao whose name has cropped up in the scandal.

Crime Branch, probing the case, said they have managed to track the route through which the bribe money was brought to India.

Police also issued summons to former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, during whose tenure the scandal involving Louis Berger, a US consultancy firm, took place.

“We have been able to find out exactly how the money was brought to India and how much was brought,” a senior Crime Branch official said declining to divulge more detail.

Crime Branch has already arrested A Wachasunder, a senior official who headed the controversial JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) water project in Goa that is at the centre of the pay off case.

Earlier in the day, police quizzed Alemao in connection with the case. Tenders for the project were issued when PWD was under Alemao.

Kamat, who was asked by Crime Branch to appear before it this evening, told PTI he was yet to receive summons. Since the Congress leader is an MLA and the House is in session, the summons was routed through the Assembly Speaker.

Crime Branch officials said they have cracked the case and would seek issuance of a letter rogatory (LoR) to procure certain documents related the case from the US.

“We are investigating the case. There are some documents that would be procured through US Court. We have requested Goa Court to issue the letter (LoR) so that these documents can be obtained,” the police official said.

A LoR is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance.

Alemao cooperated during the questioning, another official said but declined to disclose whether he will be called again.

Police will issue a second summons to Kamat tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Wachasunder, who is in police custody, has moved a local court for bail. His bail plea would be heard tomorrow afternoon.

Besides heading the Congress Government, Kamat was also holding the Finance portfolio in 2010 when officials of the US company allegedly doled out bribes to win consultancy for the Japan-funded water augmentation and sewerage project.

Officials of the New Jersey-based Louis Berger, in a submission before a US court, had admitted paying bribe to an Indian ‘Minister’ to win consultancy.

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