Goa DGP rules out immediate arrests in Louis Berger case

August 04, 2015 03:24 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:22 pm IST - Panaji

The Goa Director General of Police T.N. Mohan on Tuesday ruled out any immediate arrests in the Louis Berger-Goa water development and sewerage project bribery scandal.

The Goa Crime Branch probing the scam has already arrested two persons, A. M. Wachasundar, former director of Rs. 1031-crore water and sewerage management project of Goa government funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and Satyakam Mohanty, a former vice president of Louis Berger, India.

Talking to presspersons on Tuesday, the DGP said that a letter of rogatory had been sent to the U.S. government.

Mr. Mohan's statement is seen as a temporary relief to former Goa Chief Minister and Congress MLA Digambar Kamat and his erstwhile Ministerial colleague Churchill Alemao, who have been interrogated twice by the Crime Branch in this case.

Mr. Mohan also indicated that the police may not have enough evidence against Mr. Kamat and Mr. Alemao, who has been accused of allegedly accepting bribes from Louis Berger officials in 2010 to secure implementation of the Goa water sewerage project.

“Not presently. Depends on how evidence leads. At present I don’t think there will be much more arrests,” Mr. Mohan said, when asked if any more arrests were expected in the case.

Goa probe started after 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 U.S. Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who were offered bribes, the documents revealed that $976,630 was paid in bribes during 2009-2010 to Goa Ministers 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 JICA.

When asked specifically if there was any chance of Mr. Alemao or Mr. Kamat being arrested soon, Mr. Mohan said: “It will all depend on how much evidence we are able to gather against somebody. Arrest is something you do when you have sufficient evidence in hand against somebody.”

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