The CBI, which is conducting a probe against defence lobbyist Abhishek Verma in a corruption case, has received key transaction details from banks located in the US and Switzerland — allegedly confirming the receipt of a $5.3-lakh bribe from a Swiss arms manufacturing firm.
“From two banks located in Switzerland and the US respectively, we have received details confirming the transfer of the bribe amount—amounting to $5.3 lakh—from the account of Swiss firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG to the account of the firm Ganton USA, which is a shell company controlled by Abhishek Verma,” said a CBI source. “The bribe transaction was done in February 2011 from an account in Zurich, held by the Swiss firm, to an account held in New York by the shell company.”In June, the CBI had arrested Verma as well as his Romanian wife for allegedly taking the $5.3 lakh bribe from the Swiss firm for getting it off the government blacklist. The CBI then booked the Swiss company, Verma and unknown persons under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Verma and his wife, however, rejected the charges.
“The banking transaction details will serve as key evidence in the case against the accused, including Verma, the accused Swiss firm and its officials,” said the source.
The agency, meanwhile, is all set to send two formal requests—Letters Rogatories—to the US and Switzerland governments for procuring probe details. It will also send a team to New York for recording the statement of Verma’s former business associate, C Edmonds Allen.
The CBI is currently scrutinising a few incriminating emails in its possession. According to sources, the emails allegedly give details of the deal with the Swiss firm, payment of the bribe sum, and establish the fact that it was to be spent on taking the arms firm off the blacklist.