The CBI on Friday arrested defence equipment supplier Abhishek Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Neacsu for allegedly taking a bribe worth $530,000 for influencing public servants to get Switzerland-based Rheinmetall Air Defence AG off the government blacklist.
Verma and Neacsu were placed under arrest on Friday night after CBI interrogators had summoned them to the agency's headquarters and grilled them for several hours. The CBI had booked the Swiss company, Verma and unknown persons under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act on Thursday in this regard.
After investigation in the 2009 Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam, the CBI had recommended to the defence ministry the blacklisting of the Swiss firm as it had allegedly "adopted corrupt and illegal means to obtain the contract of supply of 35 MM revolver gun system by OFB in the year 2011," said a CBI source. The CBI suspects that it was then that Verma had allegedly contacted the Swiss firm's representatives and demanded and received a sum of $530,000 in lieu of his promise to influence Indian public servants for stalling the process of blacklisting of the Swiss firm, said the source.
The money was allegedly paid by fund transfer to the bank account of a front firm controlled allegedly by Verma, which is located in the United States, from the bank account of the blacklisted Swiss company.
Neacsu is allegedly a director of Ganton India, a company allegedly controlled by him that had carried out financial transactions with the US firm, the CBI source said.