The CBI has booked some executives of the Indian subsidiary of US-based firm CDM Smith and unidentified officials of the NHAI in a case of alleged bribery of over USD 1.18 million to secure contracts, officials said.
The CBI is carrying out searches at five locations in Bengaluru and Chennai at the offices of the CDM Smith and also at the residence of the then Director Finance of its Indian subsidiary, Gopakumar, since this morning, the officials said.
The agency has named in its FIR the US-based company, its Indian subsidiary CDM Smith India Private Limited based in Bengaluru, Gopakumar, the then Manager of RV Infra Solutions, S Krishnamurthy, and other unidentified executives of the US-based company, its Indian arm and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), they said.
It is alleged that the company paid bribes to the tune of USD 1.18 million through its Indian arm to various officials of NHAI to secure contracts between 2011 and 2016, the officials said.
It is alleged that in order to cover up their illegal acts of bribery, the accused officials of the CDM Smith showed these expenses as "allowable business expenses" in their income tax returns, they said.
Later, they submitted before the Income Tax office in Bengaluru that certain expenses listed under allowable business expenses were not covered under the IT Act and voluntarily offered such expenses for disallowance, the officials said.
The total amount of disallowance sought by CDM Smith India Private Limited and CDM Smith Inc, Boston is equivalent of USD 1.18 million, they said.
The company has claimed before the Department of Justice of the USA that the disallowance amount was paid as bribe to the officials, they said.
CDM Smith India Pvt Limited showed expenses to sub contractors and firms but it is alleged that they were not actual expenses but routed through them to camouflage bribes paid to NHAI officials, they said.
The agency alleged that Gopakumar was the "key" person to manage the payments to subcontractors, they said.