HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Industry Minister Botcha Satyanarayana on Tuesday told the CBI Court in Hyderabad that Helmuth Schuster, the then director of Germany-based Volkswagen company, had duped the AP State in the year 2005 in the name of setting up of car factory in Visakhapatnam. The minister said that he never expected that the company’s representatives would cheat the State government.
In this regard, Botcha who was the then industries minister and 35th witness in the case made a statement before the court. Botcha and several officials were among the 58 witnesses in the case probed by the CBI.
Pursuant to the earlier direction of the court, Botcha appeared before the CBI court for recording his statement in Volkswagen scam case. Botcha, in his deposition, said that the then State government headed by Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had put in serious efforts to get the Volkswagen factory to set up its plant in Visakhapatnam in AP and as part of it, a delegation, including himself, went to Germany to convince the company management of the project viability. Later, the company’s top management realised that Schuster and the company’s India representative Ashok Jain had duped the AP government as they made the state to deposit an amount off about `11 crore in VW account. It was thought that VW stands for Volkswagen and was floated as a special purpose vehicle for setting up its plant in AP.
After realising about the fraud committed by its representatives, the company’s management had offered to compensate the money lost by AP government, but the then chief minister had refused such offer and ordered for a CBI probe to unearth the facts. The CBI found that the accused floated a separate company with a similar name -- Vasishta Wahan (VW) with an intention to swallow money. After recording Botcha’s statements, the CBI court adjourned the case hearing and that it would next record the statement of RM Khan who probed the case in 2005.