Friday, October 30, 2020

India: Kerala anti-corruption watchdog indicts former director DGP Jacob Thomas in bribery scandal

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The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) Kerala, late on Thursday indicted its former director Jacob Thomas for conspiracy, corruption and bid rigging in a bribery scandal relating to the purchase of costly dredging equipment when he was the Director of Ports (DOP), in 2011-12.

The arraignment comes soon after the Government rejected Mr Thomas’ application for voluntary retirement to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy constituency.

K.E. Baiju, SP, Special Investigation Unit-I, VACB, filed the First Information Report (FIR) against Mr. Thomas in the court of Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, D. Ajith Kumar.

The charge pertained to the purchase of cutting suction dredger to keep Kerala’s waterways from silting up and navigable when Mr. Thomas was in charge of ports.

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The FIR said the public exchequer had lost money due to improper estimate, suspicious fixing of the annual maintenance contract in favour of the supplier and exclusion of the foreign vendor from paying taxes and duties.

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