ED confident about proof against  ex-Goa CMs in Louis Berger scam

The case came to light  when the Louis Berger Company told the US department of justice that they had paid Rs 63.070 million as bribes to acquire a project in Goa.

Mumbai: The bribery scam case of Goa involving former chief ministers Digambar Kamat and Churchill Alemao has caused them sleepless nights. Their troubles seem to have increased as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of Goa is convinced that it has evidence against these ministers and is waiting for the letters of formal request (rogatory) from the US government to process and to nail them in this scam.

The case came to light in July 2016, when the Louis Berger Company, a development and infrastructure company based in the US, told the US department of justice that they had paid $976,630 (Rs 63.070 million) as bribes to acquire a project in Goa. The project included construction of water and sewerage facilities.

The ED on March 30 attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 1.95 crore under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 of Kamat and Alemao for their alleged involvement in this Louis Berger bribery case.

The property of Kamat, worth Rs 1.20 crore, includes a plot of 4047 sq ft situated at Gogal, residential building at Taleigao and fixed deposits of Rs 41.35 lakh.

The properties of Alemao are worth Rs 75 lakh includes eight apartments at Fatrade of Varca village. A source said, “The ED is waiting for the letters rogatory from the US government and on that basis it will do the further attachment.”

Also, the ED conducted a search operation on Thursday at Anand Wachasundar’s house who was the project director of JICA project for constructing the water and sewerage infrastructure. Financial documents were seized from his house but no cash was seized.

The source told the Free Press Journal, “Wachasundar acted as the main channel to deliver money from Louis Berger Incorporation to Churchill Alemao. It is alleged he also got some commission and received bribe money. The ED is verifying the documents.”

Both chief ministers have denied the charges but the ED is confident. “The ED has questioned both the chief ministers a couple of times but they have denied the charges. The ED has evidence and on the basis of the evidence it has done the attachment,” a source said.

The ED sent the letters rogatory three months back and is still waiting for a response from the US government.

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