Lankan indicted in US over Andhra mining scam

4 April 2014 09:33 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A United States Grand Jury this week handed down an indictment to six persons including a Sri Lankan, Periyasamy Sunderalingam, in $18.5-million titanium mining scam.

In its indictment given in the federal court of the Northern District of Illinois, the grand jury said the allegations related to charges of international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of State and Central government officials to allow the mining of titanium minerals, a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Those facing charges include Ukrainian industrialist Dmitry Firtash (48); Andras Knopp (75), a Hungarian businessman; Suren Gevorgyan (40) of Ukraine; Gajendra Lal (50), an Indian national and permanent resident of the U.S., Periyasamy Sunderalingam, aka “Sunder,” (60), of Sri Lanka and K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao (65).

The U.S. prosecutors noted that the defendants had, beginning in 2006, “allegedly conspired to pay at least $18.5 million in bribes to secure licences to mine minerals” in A.P., a venture that was expected to net more than $500 million annually from the sale of titanium products, including sales to a company referred to as “Company A”, headquartered in Chicago.

The court documents suggested that the defendants, under the cover of multiple shadowy companies, had, on multiple occasions, met Indian officials, including Chief Minister Reddy, “to discuss the project and its progress, and authorised payment of at least $18.5 million in bribes to both State and Central government officials in India to secure the approval of licences for the project.”

In February 2007, the indictment notes, ‘Company A’ entered into an agreement via two foreign companies, Austrian Ostchem Holding, and Swiss Bothli Trade, to ensure that the latter would be able to supply 5 million to 12 million pounds of titanium sponge to ‘Company A’ on an annual basis.

It was observed that Sunderalingam met Rao “to determine the total amount of bribes and advised others on the results of the meeting, and he identified various foreign bank accounts held in the names of nominees outside India that could be used to funnel bribes to Rao.”

Rao is accused of having solicited bribes for himself and others in return for approving licences for the project and of warning other defendants concerning the threat of a possible law enforcement probe of the project. (The Hindu)
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  Comments - 6

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  • Nims Friday, 04 April 2014 09:31 PM

    Not all Tamils are crooks. There are millions who are decent and honest. Only the LTTE, Diaspora and their supporters are crooks do all the dirty things on earth with the support of the West

    Jan Chandra Saturday, 05 April 2014 05:29 AM

    Very true

    Jan Chandra Saturday, 05 April 2014 05:30 AM

    They are all the same unfortunately

    Ramu Saturday, 05 April 2014 01:33 AM

    This happens in Sri Lanka too. Newspapers don't dare publish

    rajiv Friday, 04 April 2014 09:42 AM

    all over the world when ever a sri lankan is arrested its a diaspora guy

    Suq Madique Friday, 04 April 2014 09:58 AM

    Why Sri Lankan...why not Sri Lankan tamil as they like to be identified ??


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