Norwegian police have indicted three former senior management executives of Yara International, world's biggest mineral fertiliser producer, for bribing a senior Indian bureaucrat in the fertiliser ministry.
The matter is related to the year 2006-07 when Yara was negotiating with Kribhco (Krishak Bharati Co-operative Limited) for a joint venture that failed ultimately.
The management team is accused of bribing "a Libyan minister and a senior Indian official" with $8 million (about Rs 50 crore) police said in a statement.
Yara said two days earlier that it had been hit by huge fine for these and other payments to Russia made via a Swiss subsidiary. In June 2012, Yara released the main findings of investigation which said "an unacceptable payment of $1 million ( Rs 6 crore) in 2007 to a consultant in India" was documented related to negotiations with Kribhco.
On Thursday, Kribhco vice-chairman Chander Pal Singh said none of the officials of the Indian fertiliser co-operative were involved.
Reports from Oslo said the family of a financial adviser in the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers was allegedly paid the bribe. The Norwegian government holds about 36% stake in Yara. The company has acknowledged the "guilt" and accepted the penalty but termed it "severe".