NEW DELHI, June 7 Indian police have filed
charges against a Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) official and two
others in connection with allegations that the Swiss-based arms
company paid bribes to help it avoid being blacklisted in India,
police said on Friday.
Police said they had charged Gerhard Hoy, the India
representative of Rheinmetall, with bribery, along with Indian
businessman Abhishek Verma and his Romanian-born wife, Anca
Neacsu. Verma and Neacsu are already in custody but police would
not say whether they planned to arrest Hoy.
Reuters was unable to contact Hoy for comment.
Last year, RAD, a unit of German automotive parts and
defence group Rheinmetall AG, was placed on a
blacklist of arms firms banned from doing business in India -
the world's largest arms buyer - following corruption
allegations that the company denied.
Police allege that RAD transferred $530,000 to a New York
bank account belonging to Ganton Ltd, a Verma-owned U.S.-based
company. Verma promised to stall the blacklisting process in
exchange for money, according to the police chargesheet filed
late on Thursday.
A Rheinmetall spokesman was not available to comment.
India is also investigating corruption accusations against
AgustaWestland, a division of Italian defence group Finmeccanica
, in relation to a 560 million euro ($739
($1 = 0.7579 euros)
(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; Editing by Nick Macfie)