NEW DELHI: The CBI may send Letter Rogatory (LRs) to as many as six countries to seek information pertaining to the finance and cross holdings among Vectra Group companies. The CBI is currently investigating irregularities in the procurement of Tatra trucks by PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML). The PSU procured these trucks from Vectra Group companies.
The premier investigation may soon send LRs to Singapore, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Vectra Group is a large conglomerate and has multiple cross holdings with a complicated ownership structure. Vectra Group chairman Ravi Rishi owns shares in Venus Projects Limited, a company based in Hong Kong. This company formerly owned a substantial number of shares in Tatra Sipox, UK, also a Vectra Group company, which signed supply agreements with the BEML in 1997 and 2003. Some Vectra group companies are based in the tax haven of Liechtenstein.
The CBI has registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against Rishi in a case involving irregularities in procurement of Tatra trucks by the BEML. The co-accused in the case are unknown officials of Tatra, BEML, Army and Ministry of Defence. Rishi, a British national, has been restrained from leaving the country since March 30.
The CBI raided his home in Delhi and office in Noida and seized a large number of documents pertaining to supply of Tatra trucks to the BEML. To get clarity on the BEML agreements with Vectra Group companies, the CBI questioned BEML chairman and managing director VRS Natrajan, former director of procurement V Mohan and former director J B Diwale over the past two weeks.