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Canadian police charges three in Air India bribery case


Ottawa, June 6 :

Canadian police has charged two Americans and one British businessman of Indian origin with trying to bribe Indian officials to secure a $100 million contract with Air India for a biometric security system.

rp_air-india.jpgBritish national Shailesh Govindia, and Americans Robert Barra, former chief executive officer of Cryptometrics Canada Inc, and Dario Berini, the company’s former chief operating officer were charged Wednesday after an international investigation, according to Ottawa Citizen.

Canada-wide warrants have been issued for all three accused after they were charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

The first part of the investigation led to the conviction of Ottawa businessman Nazir Karigar, an agent working for the security company, Ottawa Citizen reported. Karigar was sentenced to three years in jail in May.

Evidence presented at trial revealed an agreement to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Indian officials in order to secure a contract with Air India, the newspaper said citing police.

Karigar was the first person convicted under Canada’s foreign anti-corruption law, which came into effect in 1999, it said. Prior convictions under the act were made against corporations, not individuals, after guilty pleas.

The second part of the investigation focused on the activities of Barra and Berini.

“We have a mandate to investigate domestic and international allegations of corruption of foreign public officials,” Gilles Michaud, RCMP’s assistant commissioner of the national division was quoted as saying in a statement.

“This investigation demonstrates the RCMP’s commitment to combating international corruption. Leaving these crimes unchallenged can jeopardise Canada’s reputation as a fair and transparent society,” he said.