Louis Berger case: Former India head arrested for graft

Panaji: Louis Berger group’s former vice president Satyakam Mohanty was arrested here on Monday by the Crime Branch for paying off Goa politicians and officials in 2010 while he was serving as the head of the international consultancy firm in India.

Mohanty, who resides in Gurgaon in the National Capital Region, was booked under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for offering bribe to Goa politicians and officials to secure implantation rights for a Rs.1,031 crore water and sewerage management project in 2010, a police official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

“He was arrested today (Monday) under the anti-corruption law,” the official said.
Mohanty’s statement has also been recorded in the presence of a magistrate.

Top officials of Louis Berger have already pleaded guilty to a New Jersey District Court to offering bribes of $3.9 million to secure contracts in countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.

While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who were offered bribes, documents revealed that $976,630 was paid in bribes during 2009-2010 to a Goa minister and other officials.

Louis Berger was part of a consortium that eventually won a contract to execute a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Congress legislator Digambar Kamat, who was chief minister in 2010 has already been questioned, along with former Public Works Department minister Churchill Alemao, who served in the Kamat cabinet at the time.

Mohanty is the second person arrested in connection with the scam. Last week, JICA project director Anand Wachasundar was arrested in the bribery case.