Louis Berger bribery case: ED files money laundering case

Friday, 7 August,Panaji : The Enforcement Directorate on Friday lodged an FIR relating to money laundering in the Louis Berger case to probe charges of bribing Indian officials to allegedly win a major water developmental project in Goa.

The agency had on Thursday registered a similar case in Guwahati as the firm has been alleged to have conducted the said illegal act in Assam and Goa.

Officials said Enforcement Directorate’s zonal office here registered a complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a Goa Crime Branch FIR filed last month to probe the case.

“The ED case has been filed against an unknown former Goa Minister and Louis Berger officials,” agency sources said. The agency received a copy of the Goa police compliant early today and the PMLA case was filed in the evening, they said. ED is the first central probe agency to have taken over investigation in this case.

The local police (Crime Branch) has already begun its probe and it arrested former state Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao two days back including few others earlier. The agency will soon seek documents from the company and issue summons to its officials for recording of statement.

The alleged bribery of US $9,76,630 for the Goa project included bribe to a minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the US Department of Justice.

The officials of the New Jersey-based company had confessed in the US last month of paying bribe to Indian officials and ministers for winning consultancy of Water Augmentation and Sewerage pipeline project under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding.