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CBI arrests arms dealer Abhishek Verma, wife

June 08, 2012 22:49 IST

Arms dealer Abhishek Verma and his newly-wed Romanian wife were on Friday arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms company to delist them from the companies blacklisted by Indian government.

Verma and his wife Ancia Neascu were placed under arrest by the CBI after they failed to give convincing answers to the investigation agency which registered a fresh case against him on Thursday.

Verma, who had been earlier arrested by CBI in connection with alleged fake passport and leaking of secret commercial information from Naval war room to foreign companies, was called to the agency headquarters in the morning along with his wife.

The duo were extensively questioned by the sleuths regarding transactions of funds between Ganton India and Ganton USA, which are claimed to be his front companies, and about his business relationships with estranged associate C Edmon Allen who has levelled series of allegations against him with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI had booked Verma in a fresh case alleging that he took $530,000 from Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (RAD) on the promise that he would use his influence to stall blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced.

The two would be produced before a designated court on Saturday when the CBI would seek his custody.

The CBI also questioned the then Director of the Swiss defence company Mohinder Sahni and Arjun Arora whose houses were searched on Thursday

After registering the case, 10 CBI teams, which were later joined by the criminal investigation unit of I-T, swooped down at 10 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon which included four premises of Verma, offices of RAD in Vasant Vihar and Satya Niketan and a farm house of its Director Mohinder Sahni in Kishangarh and three associates of Verma, they said.

The CBI booked the company, Verma and unnamed persons under relevant sections the Prevention of Corruption Act which relate to taking bribe to influence public servants and carries a punishment of six months to five year.

Recently, Verma had moved a Delhi court with a complaint against his former partner Allen accusing him of cheating him of Rs 55 crore and forging documents and emails to defame him.

Allen had filed the complaint with the CBI Director and other top officials alleging Verma received funds from RAD for bailing it out.

The court had taken cognisance of the complaint of Verma, and posted the matter for recording of his pre-summoning evidence on July 21.

Verma is an accused in the Naval War Room leak case in which commercial naval secrets were leaked to foreign companies. Ravi Shankaran, kin of former naval chief Arun Prakash, is also an accused in this case.

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