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Govt seeks copy of Norwegian probe that indicted Yara

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The Fertiliser Ministry has sought a copy of the findings of the inquiry by Norwegian authorities that indicted Yara International for allegedly paying bribe to a former Indian bureaucrat.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Fertiliser Minister Srikant Jena said that the ministry has received newspapers reports regarding fertiliser scam involving a former officer of the department, Kribhco and Norwegian fertiliser company Yara International.

Further, he said, the Central Vigilance Commission has forwarded copies of news items regarding this case.

"The Department of Fertiliser has taken up the matter with Ministry of External Affairs to obtain a copy of the report/findings from the Norwegian authorities through Indian Mission in Norway," Jena said, adding that the department has sought comments of fertiliser co-operative Kribhco in this matter at the earliest.

"The matter will be further examined on receipt of report from MEA and comments from Kribhco," he added.

The matter is related to 2006-07 when Yara was negotiating with Kribhco for setting up a joint venture project.

In January this year, Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime imposed a hefty fine of about USD 48 million on Yara for bribing a senior Indian government official and entities in Libya and Russia.

Then, Norwegian police indicted three former senior management executives of Yara International for paying bribe to a senior Indian bureaucrat in the Fertiliser Ministry.

Yara International had appointed the law firm Wiersholm to conduct external investigation in this matter in April 2011.

The company released the main findings of investigation in June 2012 which said that "an unacceptable payment of USD 1 million in 2007 to a consultant in India is documented, related to negotiations with Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco)".

Meanwhile, CBI has started an inquiry into an alleged pay-off of USD one million made to a former bureaucrat and his son by Yara for securing a joint venture with Kribhco.

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