CBI asks Interpol for Tatra help

Deccan Chronicle on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“By Pramod Kumar

The CBI, probing alleged irregularities in purchase of around 6,000 Tatra trucks for the Indian Army, has sought assistance of the Interpol to get details about certain companies, allegedly associated with Ravi Rishi (chief of Vectra Group), based in Slovakia, Czech, the United Kingdom and Liechtenstein.

Ravi Rishi, who was questioned by the agency again on Monday, also owns Tatra Sipox — UK. Rishi has been named as an accused in CBI’s FIR registered to probe alleged irregularities in purchase of the Tatra trucks. The agency also questioned former director (finance) of the state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) in connection with the case on Monday. “The agency is also preparing to question present BEML chief, V.R.S. Natarajan, on Tuesday,” sources said.

Sources said, “The agency has sought assistance of the Interpol to get details about six companies, associated with Rishi, based in Slovakia, Czech, UK and Liechtenstein. The agency has requested the member countries of the Interpol to provide details about the share-holding pattern of six companies apart from contracts signed by them with the Tatra (Czech) and Tatra Sipox (Slovakia) and Tatra-Sipox UK”.
Ravi Rishi, who is a majority stake holder in Tatra Sipox UK, has not provided all documents to the agency so far, sources added.

The agency has also asked Rishi to produce all documents related the Tatra Sipox UK agreement with the state-owned BEML, signed in 1997, sources said.

“The agency is examining large number of documents, recovered during recent searches. After proper scrutiny of these documents, the agency will start questioning officials of the ministry of defence (MoD) and other senior officials of the Vectra group,” sources said.

Probe by the agency has revealed that the agreement signed earlier with a Foreign Trade Corporation of Czechoslovakia for military vehicles was fraudulently assigned to the Tatra-UK in 1997 showing it as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), fully owned subsidiary of Czech company.

“This was against the provisions of Defence Procurement procedure for supplying the vehicles to Indian Army on the basis of the orders placed by the defence ministry,” sources said.”

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