CBI to extend help to UK Serious Fraud Office in Alstom bribery case

The allegation is that some Alstom directors bribed Delhi Metro officials to gain DMRC contracts

New Delhi:  The Central Bureau of Investigation is preparing its reply to a query from the Serious Frauds Office (SFO) of the U.K. in a case against Alstom UK for allegedly paying bribes to officials to win contracts from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in 2001.

“We have received a letter from the U.K. authorities seeking assistance in gathering information pertaining to the allegations. Accordingly, efforts are under way to provide all the required inputs to them,” a CBI official said.

Earlier this week, the SFO brought charges of corruption against certain directors of Alstom UK for allegedly paying bribes, in the garb of payments for consultancy services, to secure the contract for a train control, signalling and telecommunications system for the Delhi Metro Phase I.

“The sum of Rs.1,98,95,000 was disguised as payments in respect of a consultancy agreement with M/s.Indo European Ventures Pte Ltd dated 12th September 2001 and the sum of €3,131,600 disguised as a payment in respect of a consultancy agreement with Global King Technology Ltd. dated 3rd May 2002,” the charge reads.

The SFO says the payments were alleged “inducements or rewards for showing favour to the Alstom Group in relation to the award” of the DMRC contract.

The first contract helped the U.K.-based firm get similar contracts with the expansion of metro projects in India. The company is now engaged in the Chennai and the Bangalore metro projects.

The allegations are part of a larger charge against the London office of the French train major that it paid around $8.5 million (nearly Rs. 52 crore) in bribes between 2000 and 2006 to win contracts in India, Poland and Tunisia.