Businessman Abhishek Verma and wife discharged in arms deal bribery case
He was accused of accepting a bribe from German defence conglomerate Rheinmetall to get it off a government blacklist.
Arms agent Abhishek Verma and his wife Anca Maria were discharged by special CBI court in a bribery case on Wednesday, reported ANI. He had been accused of trying to get German defence conglomerate Rheinmetall off a Defence Ministry blacklist.
The case dates back to 2009, when the Congress was in power at the Centre with Manmohan Singh as the prime minister. Rheinmetall had been blacklisted by the Defence Ministry after it was found that the company had bribed the Director General of the Ordnance Factory Board at the time to secure a contract for air defence guns. Verma allegedly got in touch with the company after it was blacklisted and offered to help them. They allegedly paid Verma $5,30,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) for the job, reported The Economic Times.
“On the basis of investigation of this  case, blacklisting of RAD [Rheinmetall] was recommended by CBI,” the agency said in its chargesheet. “When this matter of blacklisting was under process, Abhishek Verma got in touch with the representatives of RAD and assured them of help by influencing the public servants to stall the process of aforesaid blacklisting of RAD.” Verma is facing several cases, including forgery and violation of the Official Secrets Act.
Rheinmetall has been accused of dubious dealings in other countries as well. The company paid $127 million in bribes for an out-of-court settlement in Greece, where it was facing corruption charges in connection with defence deals in 2009.