Controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma's wife had met senior defence ministry officials — including minister of state for defence Pallam Raju — last year, it has emerged.
Verma's estranged business partner C Edmond Allen has told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that Verma’s wife Anca Maria Neacsu had met Pallam, secretary (defence production) Shekhar Aggarwal and director general (acquisition) Vivek Rae in their South Block offices on December 7.
Anca is learnt to have met them as the India head of Swiss rifle company Sig Sauer.
Ministry sources confirmed the meetings, but were quick to add that there was nothing uncommon about ministers and top officials meeting original equipment manufacturers to know about the industry.
The sources said the appointments for these meetings were sought in the name of Sig Sauer's global chief Micheal Lukes and Anca was part of the delegation headed by him.
They added that the company had expressed its desire to collaborate with the indigenous defence industry while seeking the appointments.
Verma and his wife are currently in jail in connection with a CBI case for allegedly taking money from Switzerland-based defence firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG to get it off the ministry's blacklist.
Allen revelations have also raised questions about Verma's proximity to some former top bureaucrats.
The CBI is currently trying to ascertain the veracity and classification of some documents alleged pertaining to the defence ministry and supplied by Allen.
Verma is an accused in the Naval War Room case off 2006 wherein he was accused of having access to classified documents.