Arms dealer Abhishek Verma, his wife and others were discharged by special court today in a CBI case involving alleged payments to some officials to influence the Defence Ministry to keep a German firm out of the government’s blacklist.
Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna also discharged Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Verma in a money laundering case filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter.
The CBI had filed its charge sheet against Verma, his wife, Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) and its top official Gerhard Hoy.
The court discharged them saying that there was not enough evidence to put them on trial in the two cases.
According to the CBI, RAD had transferred USD 5,30,000 to a New York bank account belonging to Ganton Ltd, a US-based company owned by Verma.
Verma had promised to stall the blacklisting process in exchange for money, according to the police chargesheet.
The agency had told the court that it had traced banking transactions from Europe to the US, linking Verma and his associates with the German arms conglomerate.
ED had filed a separate case of money laundering against the couple on the basis of the CBI complaint.
The German company’s troubles started in 2009 when the CBI registered an FIR accusing it of bribing the then Director General of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to secure a contract for supply air defence guns to the Indian Army.
“On the basis of investigation of this (2009) case, blacklisting of RAD (Rheinmetall) was recommended by CBI. When this matter of blacklisting was under process, Abhishek Verma got in touch with the representatives of RAD and assured them of help by influencing the public servants to stall the process of aforesaid blacklisting of RAD,” the CBI chargesheet said.
( Source – PTI )