Billionaire Abhishek Verma and wife Anca Verma acquitted in CBI graft case and money laundering case
Billionaire Abhishek Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Verma were acquitted by a Delhi court in money laundering and corruption cases.
The complaint lodged against the couple by the Directorate of Enforcement (DoE) was based upon a corruption case lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It stated that Abhishek Verma, his wife Anca Verma, along with Messrs Ganton India Pvt Ltd, were involved in receiving funds from Messrs Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) which the CBI termed as “money acquired for the purposes of bribery of government officials in Indian defence establishment.”
The complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (DoE) also accused Billionaire Abhishek Verma and his wife Anca Verma,former Miss Universe Romania (formerly Anca Neacsu)of being involved in stalling the process of blacklisting of RAD for arms deals by the Indian defence ministry, through influencing public servants in India.
The Directorate of Enforcement alleged that the money was routed through Ganton Limited (USA), and hence the couple was accused of committing the offence of money launderingin terms of Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Before the court made its final judgment, it was also speculated that Abhishek Verma was one of the key people involved in convincing C Edmonds Allen to get Messrs Ganton Limited (USA) incorporated. According to the Directorate of Enforcement, Messrs Ganton India Pvt Ltd is a fully-owned subsidiary of Messrs Ganton Limited (USA).
Taking an action on the complaint that CBI had filed a charge sheet against The Vermas, the German arms conglomerate RAD and its top official Gerhard Hoy. Billionaire Abhishek Verma and his wife were also arrested for allegedly bribing officials to get RAD removed from the blacklist of the defence ministry for arms deals.However the couple were granted bail in this case within 60 days of the date of their arrest in 2012.
For the uninitiated, arms conglomerate RAD was blacklisted by the Defence Ministry of India after the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam had surfaced. According to the CBI, RAD had paid Abhishek Verma over $530,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) to get off the Defence Ministry blacklist.
Upon passing the judgment, Special Judge of CBI court Mrs. Anju Bajaj Chandna stated, “The charge in the case of scheduled offence have not been framed, and vide my separate order of today’s date, accused persons have been ordered to be discharged noting that no offence under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or under Section 120B IPC is attracted as ingredients are not fulfilled thereof.”
“It has also been observed that transfer of funds from Messrs Rheinmettal Air Defence to Messrs Ganton USA cannot be termed as illegal gratification and further, no criminality can be attached to the transfer of funds by Messrs Ganton USA to Messrs Ganton India. In such situation since there is no existence of proceeds of crime no question of proceeds/money being laundered or projected as untainted arises,” the Special Judge stated, thereby discharging the couple from all charges filed by CBI under Prevention of Corruption Act in 2012.
While acquitting Billionaire Abhishek Verma and his wife Anca Verma, the judge further said, “In view of the fact that accused persons have been discharged in the case of scheduled offence, the present case has become groundless and there is no ground to proceed further against the accused persons. Accordingly, all the accused persons are also discharged from the case of Prevention of Money Laundering Actcase as well.”