CBI to probe Nanda’s British citizenship

March 3rd, 2008 - 12:22 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to send a formal request to Britain to find out if arms dealer Suresh Nanda, accused of receiving kickbacks in the Israeli Barak missile deal, has a British citizenship. The CBI move has come even as the external affairs ministry is considering its plea to revoke Nanda’s passport.

“The Interpol had apprised us that Nanda had presented himself as a British national in Media-Asia Europe firm. Following this, we are now preparing to send a formal request to the British government,” a senior CBI official told IANS Sunday.

“We would probe the input given by the Interpol but the confirmation has to come from Britain so that it can be produced as evidence in the court here,” the official said.

The CBI has accused Nanda, son of former Indian Navy chief Admiral S.M. Nanda, of receiving Rs.4 million ($99,943.82) in kickbacks after the Barak deal was signed during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime that was voted out of power in the 2004 general elections.

The $100 million (Rs.3.9 billion) deal had come under the scanner after it was alleged that the 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.

After securing a month-long suspension of Nanda’s passport, the CBI had approached the government to revoke it.

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