An Indian-origin British national is among 22 executives of military and law enforcement suppliers arrested by FBI on charges of attempting to bribe the Defence Minister of an African country in what is being described as the largest ever corruption expose of its kind in the US.
43-year-old Pankesh Patel, Managing Director of a UK firm that acts as a sales agent for companies in law enforcement and military products industries, and two more Britons -- David Painter (56) and Lee Wares (43) -- were among 22 people arrested, the US Department of Justice said.
Wares is the Chairman and Director of a British company that markets armoured vehicles.
Of the 22 executives, 21 were arrested from Las Vegas on Monday. The 22nd person was arrested in Miami. None of the people arrested are from Las Vegas, but all were in town for the 2010 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, which began at Sands Expo and Convention Centre yesterday, Fox News said.
The indictments unsealed before a US court yesterday allege that these arrested individuals engaged in a scheme to pay bribes to the Minister of Defence for a country in Africa. The name of the country has not been revealed.
The scheme was part of the undercover operation, with no actual involvement from any Defence Minister. The defendants allegedly agreed to pay 20 per cent "commission" to a sales agent who they believed represented Defence Minister of an African state in order to win a portion of a USD 15 million deal to outfit the country's presidential guard. In reality, the "sales agent" was an undercover FBI agent.