Louis Berger Bribery Scam

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Assam on Thursday raised serious question on the ‘delay’ in investigations into the Rs 6.5 crore Louis Berger bribery scam in the state.

The LDP accused the BJP-led government in Assam for ‘unwanted delay’ in investigation into the scam, and alleged that the state government was protecting the culprits.

The party demanded that CBI should immediately share a detailed update on the progress of investigation into the bribery case.

Prodyut Bora, National Chairman of LDP said that it is very unfortunate that investigation into the Louis Berger bribery case is still not complete whereas the company has already been heavily penalised in the US.

The company has also admitted criminal responsibility for bribery in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait, Bora said.

The CBI had started investigations into the Rs 6.5 crore Louis Berger bribery scam following a Gauhati High Court order.

The High Court had taken up the bribery case on the basis of a public interest litigation filed by Bhaben Handique, an RTI activist and convener of rights group Swaraj Asom.

In July 2015, officials of the New Jersey-based Louis Berger admitted in a US court that they had bribed top officials in several countries to win government projects.

The company had also admitted in the court that it had bribed officials in water development projects in Goa and Assam.

The CBI had taken up the case by filing a 40-page FIR against unknown officials in the alleged scam, and had also recorded few statements. Unfortunately, there has been no progress with the investigation.

HoliramTerang, state chairman of LDP reminded BJP of the booklet titled ‘Water Supply Scam 2010 in Goa and Guwahati’, released on July 21, 2015 at a meeting in New Delhi attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

In the booklet, the BJP had alleged Himanta Biswa Sarma as the key suspect of the scam related to a water supply project in Guwahati, where Louis Berger was the service provider.

“Sarma was in Congress at that time. But in the same year he joined BJP, and soon became a minister in the Sonowal cabinet. Since then, BJP has gone silent on the issue,” Terang said.

Guna Gogoi, state president of LDP questioned chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s silence on the bribery issue.

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