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LuigiVercotti

And the Arrests in Delhi Begin...

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So...finally we are seeing the chickens coming home to roost in Delhi for the corrupt officials behind the shambolic Delhi Games. And note how these two who have been arrested had their work signed off by Kalmadi and Bhanot.

CBI nabs 2 ex-CWG officials as probe throws up murky details

Kumar Rakesh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15

Two former senior officials of the Organising Committee (OC), Commonwealth Games, and close aides of OC’s chairman Suresh Kalmadi were arrested today by the CBI. The arrest of TS Darbari, joint director general, revenue and marketing, and Sanjay Mohindroo, deputy director general, marketing, on charges of corruption, forgery and criminal conspiracy is the most tangible action so far by a prosecuting agency in the wake of multiple probes started by various government bodies into the suspected cases of CWG corruption.

Two London-based sister firms, which had a man of Indian origin as the director, also figure as accused in the two FIRs registered by the CBI besides the director, DIG Anurag of CBI told the media.

The shoddy deals were signed by Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot, the secretary general of the OC, and official sources said both of them could be questioned by the investigating officials in coming days depending upon how the probe unfolded.

A director-level official of the OC, Raj Singh, is also an accused but has not been arrested. Residences of the accused OC officials were raided besides that of the OC at Jantar Mantar.

CBI officials said both London-based firms — AM Car & Van Services and AM Films — were awarded contracts on October 24, 2009, for Queen Baton relay, which was held in London five days later. Anurag said no bids were called and nor were any other standard procedures followed by the OC. Kalmadi had defended the decision when the suspect methods were exposed weeks before the Games, saying that they had to do away with the formalities due to the immediate requirement of cars and video screens for the Relay.

The CBI probe, however, unravelled that Darbari and Mohindroo were in touch with Patel weeks before his firms were awarded contracts. Another claim of the OC that the firms were on the panel of Indian High Commission in London has also proved to be bogus.

What more the OC officials forged emails, purportedly sent by the Indian High Commission, to justify the awards of contracts to the two firms of little repute. Kalmadi had shown these mails to defend the deals.

“The mails were forged by Mohindroo. Darbari and he were in touch with Patel several weeks prior to the signing of contract on October 24. This is a conclusive proof to nail the ulterior motives of these officials. Now we want to know if more OC officials were involved in the scam,” a senior official said.

Darbari and Mohindroo were sacked by the OC after the deals were exposed, only on the prodding of the government.

CBI officials said the worth of the contracts was too high vis-a-vis market rates and the firms were most probably asked to jack up their prices, been assured well in advance that they would bag them.

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier registered a case regarding the same. The CBI probe, however, would be more widespread and throw up significant evidence in connection with the CWG irregularities.

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Justice has been done, at last. Too bad its already too late...>_>

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Now this is surely going to open up a can of worms:

Swiss Timing charged in Delhi Games graft case

NEW DELHI — Sports timing company Swiss Timing has been charged by Indian police over alleged kickbacks contained in a contract it won for the Delhi Commonwealth Games, a police statement said.

The Swiss group, which has been timekeeper at a host of Olympics Games, most recently in Beijing in 2008, has been named in the latest charges in a wide-ranging police probe into the graft-tainted October event in New Delhi.

Two high-ranking officials, the closest aides to the unpopular chairman of the event Suresh Kalmadi, have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption, the statement issued late Tuesday said.

Police said Swiss Timing had supplied equipment "at exorbitant rates of one 1.07 billion rupees (220,000 dollars) and thereby causing huge loss to the government," it said.

The accused men, organising committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot and director general V.K. Verma, are alleged to have twisted bidding criteria to eliminate other bidders and award the contract to Swiss Timing.

They "entered into criminal conspiracy with a Switzerland-based company," named as Swiss Timing in the police statement.

"We seized huge amounts of incriminating documents from their residences and we are certain more details of corruption will emerge soon," a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source told AFP on Wednesday on condition he was not identified.

Swiss Timing was responsible for timing events at stadiums at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

It has a long history of working on major sporting events stretching back to 1972. Among other major events, it was the official time-keeper at the Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics.

The Games under-fire chairman Suresh Kalmadi, a senior member of India's ruling Congress party, has not yet been quizzed by the CBI, the source added.

Both Verma and Bhanot denied any wrongdoing after detectives searched their homes on Tuesday.

The Delhi Games were hit by claims of massive financial irregularities as the budget ballooned to an estimated six billion dollars.

Last week, police arrested the sacked treasurer of the organising committee, M. Jayachandran on charges of forgery and cheating over the awarding of Games-related contracts.

Police have also charged two other former Games officials.

AFP

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I saw the report about Bhanot (who struck me as being almost as buffoonish and negligent as Kalmadi) and Verma but not the link to Swiss Timing...I wonder how desperate the Swiss were to get the nod for the Delhi time keeping contract, and if it really did involve bribery. Considering that Swiss law has a fairly intriguing way of handling things like slander (just ask Andrew Jennings) does Swiss Timing have some sort of comfort or delusion that this same domestic law system will keep them out of the merde in India? And is this another example of Indian's bashing and blaming foreigners for local corruption and influence peddling.

I bet right now Kalmadi is camped outside his lawyer's office or looking into country's that don;t have extradition treaties with India :P

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Intriguing article about assassination plots against Delhi 2010 officials:

Prisons guards ordered 'hit' on jailed Commonwealth Games chiefs

Prison officials armed two inmates and ordered them to assassinate two of three of Delhi's Commonwealth Games officials held in custody on corruption charges, an Indian court was told.

The claims were made by two brothers serving life sentences for murder in a magistrate court on Tuesday.

Magistrates in New Delhi, India, ordered an inquiry after Amit and Nishant Prasad petitioned the court to disclose details of a murder plot against senior officials accused of corruption in the award of contracts for the Queen's Baton Relay in London last year.

According to the brothers, jail officials gave them a pistol and a knife and ordered them to kill two of three Commonwealth Games officials held on corruption charges in Delhi's Tihar Jail. They include T.S Darbari, a director of marketing for the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Sanjay Mahendroo, another director, and M Jeychandran, treasurer for the Delhi Games. They have been in custody since their arrest last month.

The chief metropolitan magistrate ordered a police inquiry into the claims after a knife was recovered from the wing where the brothers were being held.

The Prasad brothers' claims were angrily denied by prison spokesman Sunil Gupta. Although a 'blade gang' had carried out knife attacks on prisoners in the past, the Commonwealth Games officials were being held on a safe wing separate from hardened inmates, he said. The two brothers who had made the claims were unreliable, he added.

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More arrests here, according to the BBC.

Link: BBC: Indian Commonwealth Games bosses are arrested

Quote: "India's top investigating agency has arrested two senior Commonwealth Games officials suspected of corruption."

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