Indian businessman Abhishek Verma (C) leaves the court after his hearing in New Delhi June 9, 2012
9 June 2012. An Indian businessman, Abhishek Verma, was charged on Saturday with attempting to bribe government officials in connection with allegations that Swiss-based Rheinmetall Air Defence AG paid him US$530,000. The bribe was paid to him by Swiss-based Rheinmetall Air Defence AG to use his influence to stop the company from being blacklisted. Abhishek Verma and his wife were arrested yesterday after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched raids on 10 properties in and around New Delhi, including the home of a former Rheinmetall representative in India. The CBI said in a statement that it was investigating both Verma and the company. The company was placed on a blacklist of arms firms banned from doing business in India following corruption allegations. But the company strongly denied it.
Verma and his wife, Anca Neacsu, were charged in a New Delhi court. The magistrate ordered the couple to remain in custody for seven days for further questioning.
Documents provided to the CBI by C. Edmonds Allen, an American and a former business associate of Verma, show a US$530,000 credit transfer from Rheinmetall to a New York bank account belonging to a US-based company, Ganton Limited, which the CBI alleges was owned by Verma.
Verma had assured them that he could influence government officials to stall the blacklisting process.