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U.S. seeks arrest of India MP for mining bribe plot

K.V.P. Ramachandra RaoThe DOJ asked India to arrest a member of parliament indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago in early April for a plot to grant mining rights in return for more than $18 million in bribes.

K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, 65, was also an official of the state government of Andhra Pradesh and a close advisor to the state’s chief minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Reddy died in a helicopter crash in 2009.

He had allegedly solicited bribes for himself and others in exchange for the mining rights.

Rao and five other defendants were charged in the U.S. with racketeering and money laundering conspiracies and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

The other defendants excluding Rao were also charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

The India mining project was expected to generate more than $500 million a year from the sale of titanium products to a customer headquartered in Chicago, the DOJ said.

The indictment listed 57 money transfers for the benefit of the Indian officials totaling more than $10.59 million from 2006 through 2010.

None of the defendants are in U.S. custody.

The alleged ring leader of the bribery plot, Dmitry Firtash, 48, a Ukrainian national, was arrested March 12, 2014, in Vienna, Austria.

He was released on March 21 after posting bail equivalent to $174 million.

The DOJ is requesting his extradition.

The other defendants are Andras Knopp, 75, a Hungarian businessman, Suren Gevorgyan, 40, of Ukraine, Gajendra Lal, 50, an Indian national, and Periyasamy Sunderalingam, 60, of Sri Lanka.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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