A 64-year-old India-born Canadian citizen has claimed that he paid a $250,000 bribe to Praful Patel, India’s minister of heavy industries and former aviation minister, in 2007 for securing a $100 million contract with Air India for a facial-recognition security system, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.
The report said Canandian authorities are planning to prosecute businessman Nazir Karigar on charges that he violated the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act – a law that prohibits the payment of bribes abroad. The case is scheduled to be held at Ottawa’s Superior Court of Justice in September.
The case against Karigar also includes another famous name – Hassan Gafoor, a former Mumbai police commissioner who oversaw the force during the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008. It is alleged that Gafoor conspired with Karigar to rig the $100 million contract, according to The Globe and Mail report. Gafoor has denied any knowledge of the alleged scheme.
The Globe and Mail report said Canandian authorities first charged Karigar in 2010, but at the time, the businessman refused to reveal whom he had allegedly bribed, what contract he was seeking, or for whom he was working.
Interviews with a number of sources later revealed the charge relates to Karigar’s work on behalf of Cryptometrics, a high-tech security company that was pursuing a contract with Air India. The privately owned company, which had offices in the New York area, Ottawa and Mumbai until it became the focus of two criminal investigations, declared bankruptcy shortly after Karigar was charged, the report added.
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