Arms dealer Abhishek Verma made a three-hour sex tape of serving and retired Indian Air Force (IAF) officers, a former associate of Verma has alleged.
The former aide, C Edmonds Allen, said in a recent letter to Indian defence minister AK Antony that Verma had set up and taped sexual acts involving the officers and sex workers from Uzbekistan at a Vasant Kunj guest house in Delhi in May 2010.
Verma apparently wanted to blackmail a US aviation firm he had fallen out with, and its country manager — a much-decorated, retired air marshal — one of those he laid the honey trap for.
Verma is an accused in the 2005 naval war room case in which top-secret papers on naval purchases were allegedly leaked to him and others. Allen, Verma’s former business partner and an attorney in New York, has been a whistleblower on Verma after the two fell out over payments.
According to Allen, the serving IAF officials filmed were involved in clearances for the basic trainer aircraft that India was buying and Verma was linked to Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC), one of the contenders for the contract. However, Verma decided to embarrass HBC after they parted ways, the letter suggested.
Verma’s representative told HindustanTimes, “The allegations are baseless.” He sought more time to discuss the issue with Verma before sending a detailed response.
Verma, son of former Congress MP and eminent writer Srikant Verma, is currently lodged in Tihar jail on charges of influencing defence deals and obtaining top-secret documents.
While Allen’s letter alleged that the retired officer who was working with HBC was blackmailed, it was silent on whether the serving officials were blackmailed too.
“CBI till date has never investigated this lead,” the letter said about filming the serving officers, “considered key to getting HBC technically qualified for the air force tender”.
The retired Indian Air Force officer, a much-decorated fighter pilot, was introduced by Verma to HBC, which employed the officer as its India head.
Allen also alleged that Verma had tried to blackmail the retired officer into resigning from HBC after Verma fell out with the company.
HBC apparently paid Verma $30,000 for helping it get the former air marshal’s services.