Monday September 01, 2014

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Warrants issued for arrest of U.S., UK nationals in alleged bribery case

OTTAWA - The RCMP has charged three foreign nationals following an investigation into allegations of bribery involving a contract with Air India.

Canada-wide warrants have been issued for Americans Robert Barra and Dario Berini and British national Shailesh Govindia, all of whom face charges under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

Govindia was also charged with one count of fraud.

Barra is a former chief executive officer of U.S.-based firm Cryptometrics, while Berini is former chief operating officer of the company. Govindia was an agent for the firm.

In 2006, Cryptometrics Canada tendered a contract with Air India for a biometric passenger security system valued at approximately US$100 million.

The RCMP says evidence gathered and later presented at trial revealed an agreement by Nazir Karigar, an agent working for Cryptometrics, to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Indian public officials for the purpose of securing a contract with the airline.

The initial investigation led to conviction of Karigar, who was recently sentenced to three years in prison.

"We have a mandate to investigate domestic and international allegations of corruption of foreign public officials," said RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud, commanding officer of the police force's national division.

"This investigation demonstrates the RCMP's commitment to combating international corruption. Leaving these crimes unchallenged can jeopardize Canada's reputation as a fair and transparent society."

Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version identified Berini as a former chief executive officer of Cryptometrics Canada.


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