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Tatra deal: CBI search operation of former army officers

New Delhi, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 NI Wire

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted search operations at the homes of two former army officer's in connection of irregularities in the Tatra trucks deal. Raids were conducted at their residence in Delhi and Noida.

According to sources search operation conducted at the residence of an official of the Britain based Vetra group which was responsible for the supply of Tatra truck to the Indian Army through defence public sector undertaking Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML).

It is noted that agency had questioned former BEML director V. Mohan, the company's present chief V.R.S. Natarajan and Vectra group chief Ravinder Rishi, in connection with alleged lapses in the supply of Tatra trucks. The recent search operations are of crucial as it has done just a day after the questioning.

Army chief Gen V.K. Singh had alleged that he'd been offered a Rs. 14 crore bribe to clear a deal relating supply of Tatra truck. Agency is probing why BEML decided to procure Tatra parts from Tatra Sipox (Britain), a private company, from 1997 when it was doing so through Omnipol (a state-owned unit in Czech Republic) since 1986.

Although army clarify in a press release took the names of Tatra and BEML, alleging that Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh had offered a bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra.

Now CBI has been trying to know the facts that why BEML officials signed an agreement with Tatra Sipox of Britain in a hurried manner on June 14, 1997, three days after they had a meeting with the firm and its associate companies' officials in Slovakia.

Another company Venus Projects Ltd., in which Rishi allegedly has some stakes, was under the CBI scanner as he allegedly used it for purchasing spare parts for Tatra trucks.

(With inputs from IANS)

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