LOUIS BERGER BRIBERY CASE
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 18: Initiating investigation into the Louis Berger bribery scam, Dispur police has sent a list of six queries to the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), which is implementing the JICA-funded water supply project to win which the US consultancy firm paid bribes to “officials” and a “minister”.
Three citizens had lodged an FIR at Dispur police station after two employees of the New Jersey based firm admitted before a US federal court that they had paid bribes to win water supply projects in Goa and Guwahati. “The officials and ministers hatched a crimil conspiracy to defraud the State and also committed crimil breach of trust,” the FIR, filed on July 23, stated.
Sources said police have written to media houses to furnish the news and stories published on the case.
A list of six queries has been sent to the Chief Executive Officer of GMDA. “The queries related to the tendering process. The GMDA has been asked to justify why Louis Berger was awarded the contract. In another query, the GMDA has been asked to furnish information if any inquiry was earlier conducted into the alleged anomalies in the tendering process,” the sources said.
GMDA has been asked to respond “at the earliest”.
Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced a CID, the State investigating agency is yet to take over the case.
Gogoi had yesterday squarely put the onus on Himanta Biswa Sarma, saying the minister is charge is “responsible and answerable.”
The Louis Berger bribery case came to light in July when the company admitted to violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a pelty of $17.1 million to resolve charges that it bribed foreign officials. Besides India, the company was involved in malpractices in Indonesia, Vietm and Kuwait, the US Justice
Department said. In India, the company was accused of bribing officials to win two major water projects in Goa and Guwahati.
Earlier, this newspaper had reported that the origil agreement papers of Louis Berger were stolen from the GMDA office, after which a case was also lodged at Bhangagarh police station by the then CEO of GMDA.