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CBI Initiates Inquiry Into Kribhco-Yara Scandal

Published: 04th February 2014 03:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2014 03:39 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

CBI has started an inquiry into an alleged pay-off of USD one million made to a former bureaucrat and his son by Norwegian fertiliser major 'Yara' for securing a joint venture with Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (Kribhco) in 2007.

CBI sources said the agency has started preliminary inquiry, based on statements from Yara and Norwegian prosecution agency Okokrim in this regard, naming the then officer and his son as suspects in the case.

The agency would soon be calling the former bureaucrat and his son for examination in connection with transfer of over USD one million in the offshore accounts believed to be of them.

Yara had accepted 270 million NOK penalty imposed by Okokrim on the alleged payoffs made to a "consultant" for an unrealised project in India.

"Our acknowledgement of guilt and acceptance of a fine reflect that the Okokrim findings are in line with those of our own investigation. The penalty is severe but we accept it," Bernt Reitan, Chairman of the Board of Yara International ASA had said in a statement.

The company was negotiating with Kribhco during 2006-07 for setting up a joint venture project.

In April 2011, Yara International appointed law firm Wiersholm to conduct an external investigation in this matter.

Yara in June 2012 had released the main findings of the investigation which said that "an unacceptable payment of USD one million in 2007 to a consultant in India is documented, related to negotiations with Kribhco." 

The allegations have been denied by Kribhco which had said that its officials were not involved in any wrongdoing with Yara, which was fined USD 48 million by the Norwegian investigation agency National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim).

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