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Canadian accused of bribing Praful Patel

world Updated: Feb 03, 2012 11:10 IST

A Canadian entrepreneur faces charges of bribing an Indian cabinet minister in the first prosecution of a person under Canada's foreign anti-corruption law, a paper said on Thursday.

Indian-born entrepreneur Nazir Karigar, 64, was charged 18 months ago with bribing foreign officials but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the time refused to reveal details of his alleged crime.

Court documents cited by the daily Globe and Mail now reveal that the case involved India's heavy industries minister Praful Patel and former Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor.

Karigar, working on behalf of US high tech firm CryptoMetrics, is accused of bribing Patel and conspiring with Gafoor to rig a $100-million contract to supply a facial recognition security system to Air India.

Karigar allegedly boasted to others how he funneled a $250,000 bribe to Patel, then India's aviation minister.

Gafoor was once Air India's security director and a childhood friend of Karigar.

Karigar also allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to two Air India executives.

The bid was unsuccessful.

The Globe said Patel and Gafoor denied knowledge of the scheme, and Karigar has pleaded not guilty. CryptoMetrics declared bankruptcy shortly after Karigar was charged.

Karigar's trial on charges that he violated Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is set to begin in Ottawa in September. He is the first person to be prosecuted under the 1999 foreign anti-corruption law. Two corporations were previously convicted under the act.