Unnamed minister accepted $1 million bribe from US firm for Goa project: Reports


A New-Jersey based construction firm has been charged with bribing Indian officials to win tenders for two major water developmental projects in Goa and in Guwahati.

Louis Berger had on Friday agreed to pay a 17.1-million-dollar fine to be freed of charges that held them guilty of bribing officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts. This after two of its former executives Richard Hirsch and James McClung, pleaded guilty to the charges brought forward by a US federal court. McClung had formerly been vice-president in charge of the firm’s operations in India and Vietnam.

Bribery payments by the company to an Indian minister to secure a Goa project amounted to $976,630, it is being alleged. Further details in this regard have not been released by the US Department of Justice.

Assisted by Japan, the Indian government had initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.

For the project, Louis Berger was part of the consortium that also included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner. Since 1998, Louis Berger has offices in India in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

“Along with several consortium partners, the company won two water development projects in Goa and Guwahati. The company paid bribes to win both of these contracts,” US federal prosecutors alleged.