Hawala operator Soni also gets bail; but Digambar was not first one

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 19 August 2015 13:08 IST

Dubai-based hawala operator Raichand Soni is the third person to walk out with a bail granted by Goa’s special court in the Louis Berger case.

Following anticipatory bail granted to former chief minister Digambar Kamat, judge B P Deshpande also granted bail to Soni.

He had earlier dismissed Soni’s bail application on 13 August, while the hawala operator was in the police custody.

The court had upheld contention of the crime branch of Goa police that they need Soni’s custody since he was not revealing who gave him money to transfer to Goa, supposedly to pay as bribes to Goa’s minister and government officials.

Soni however had approached once again with the bail application, after he was transferred to judicial custody, claiming ‘change of circumstances.’

The court had heard him on 17 August, where his lawyer had argued that he had only violated the RBI guidelines while transferring the money but was not involved in any kind of corruption in the Louis Berger bribery case.

Soni has already admitted of having delivered the money to Louis Berger officials in Goa, on several occasions, not knowing that it was meant to pay the bribe.


Officials of Louis Berger International Inc. have also admitted before the Department of Justice at New Jersey that bribes of Rs six crore were paid to ‘a’ minister and government officials in Goa.

The crime branch claims, based on the depositions made by former officials of Louis Berger as well as consulting partner, that bribes were paid to former CM Kamat as well as former PWD minister Churchill Alemao.

The court on 17 August had already granted bail to Satyakam Mohanty, former vice president of Louis Berger (India), after he was remanded to judicial custody.

Following this, Kamat was granted anticipatory bail today and bail to Soni.

The court however did not grant bail to Alemao as well as A M Wachasundar, suspended director of JICA-funded project of Goa.

Kamat and Alemao are facing similar charges of accepting bribes.

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