Arms dealer Suresh Nanda, son brought to Delhi

March 10th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Defence middleman Suresh Nanda and his son Sanjeev, arrested on charges of trying to bribe an income tax official for fudging their account books, were brought from Mumbai to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Delhi for further interrogation. Neither family members nor lawyers were allowed to meet Suresh Nanda, also accused of receiving kickbacks in a deal to purchase Barak missiles from Israel in 2000, and Sanjeev.

The CBI will produce the father-son duo, along with their chartered accountant Bipin Shah and income tax deputy director (investigation) Ashutosh Verma in a Delhi court Tuesday, when their transit remand ends.

“All the four accused were brought to Delhi yesterday (Sunday) at about 11.30 p.m. after a Mumbai court granted two-day transit remand. They are kept at the CBI headquarters,” a CBI official said Monday.

The four people were arrested from the J.W. Marriot hotel in Mumbai Saturday night. They had assembled there for “further negotiations” to bail out Suresh Nanda in an income tax case registered against him last year.

Suresh Nanda, son of former Indian Navy chief Admiral S.M. Nanda, is one of the biggest arms dealers in the country. Sanjeev Nanda is accused of mowing down six people in the capital with his BMW car in 1999.

“I just want to meet my husband. If that is not possible at least allow me to meet or talk to my son Sanjeev. Even lawyers were not permitted to see them,” Suresh Nanda’s wife Renu told IANS.

She had come to the CBI office to give to her husband and son cloths and other materials of daily use.

Earlier in the day, Suresh Nanda’s lawyer Ramesh Gupta was denied a meeting with the accused.

Gupta later filed an application with a Delhi court seeking a meeting with his client. However, CBI Special Judge I.K. Kochhar dismissed the plea saying the case was yet to be brought before the court.

The investigating agency has booked Suresh Nanda and Sanjeev under Indian Penal Code’s section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and section 204 (destruction of document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence).

A case against Verma has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Suresh Nanda has also been accused of receiving Rs.4 million ($99,943.82) in kickbacks after a deal to purchase Israeli Barak missiles was signed during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The $100 million (Rs.3.9 billion) deal had come under the scanner after it was alleged that then defence minister George Fernandes had overruled, at the behest of Suresh Nanda, the opinion of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that it could develop a system similar to the Barak.

The CBI Sunday conducted searches at 12 premises belonging to the four accused in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Goa and Mumbai and recovered cash amounting to Rs.3.2 million from Nanda’s residence.

“We have also seized laptops and computers containing certain incriminating documents,” a CBI source said.

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