Quattrocchi, Jain got kickbacks in Bofors

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New Delhi: With payoffs in Bofors gun deal under the spotlight again, an ex-CBI officer who supervised the case claimed that alleged Hawala dealer S K Jain told the probe agency he and Ottavio Quattrocchi received kickbacks from projects routed through them including the howitzer deal.

Citing a written submission made by Jain on March 13, 1995, former Joint Director of CBI, B R Lall, who was supervising the case then, said " the duo (Jain and Quattrocchi) have taken the contract in partnership and have close connection with high and mighty people.

"The Hawala dealer had in its submission to CBI had said that he used to take 3 per cent of the project cost as commission while seven per cent of the total amount as kickbacks were received by (Italian businessman) Quattrocchi.

The duo were getting 10 per cent of the commission against cracking deals with the government," Lall told PTI today.

The officer also claimed that he faced certain `pressure` from high and influential people, including politicians and officials of the then late Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao office and was shifted out of the probe.

"I have faced pressure when the agency officials were probing the case as we have gathered number of evidence against the influential people for their involvement in the Bofors case. As a result I was shifted out of the investigations," the officer claimed.

A USD 15 billion contract between the Indian government and Swedish arms company AB Bofors was signed for supply of over 400 155mm Howitzer field guns on March 24, 1986.

Initially, the CBI had registered a complaint on Jan 22, 1990 and after a thorough investigation the agency set up special investigation team for the case on January 30, 1997.

CBI files first chargesheeted naming Win Chadha, Quattrocchi, former Indian defence secretary S K Bhatnagar, former Bofors chief Martin Ardbo and Bofors company on October 12, 1999.

In a related move, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in its recent order said that kickbacks of Rs 41 crore were paid to late Bofors agent Win Chaddha and Quattrocchi in the Howitzer gun deal.

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