US co bribed Indian cos to build power plants

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Washington, Jul 7: A California-based valve company bribed several Indian companies to bag lucrative contracts, mostly for tools used in the construction of power plants.

According to documents submitted by the US Department of Justice before a US court, the prominent among these Indian companies are Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Maharashtra State Electricity Board, Haryana State Electricity Board, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bhilai Electric.

It is possible that the details of the beneficiaries are listed in the sealed court documents, but no names were immediately known.

California-based Control Component Inc (CCI) on Jun 31, 2009, pleaded guilty before the US court to having committing bribery in 36 countries from 2003 to 2007.

According to court documents, the payments related to India were made between 2004 and 2007.

CCI paid a bribe of USD 163,449 to the Sipat coal-fired power plant of NTPC, in two installments to an official of a Moscow-based company, who has been identified as Vladimir Batenko in the documents submitted by the US Department of Justice before the US court.

On Tuesday, Jul 6, the US Department of Justice announced that it has extradited Flavio Ricotti, a former executive of CCI on charges of bribing foreign companies.

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