FORMER high-tech Ottawa executive Nazir Karigar, an Indian-born Canadian citizen who was found guilty last year for his role in a plan to bribe Indian officials to nail a contract for security technology for Air India, has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Karigar is the first person to be convicted under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. So far three companies have been convicted under the act.
Karigar approached CryptoMetrics in 2005 to help them obtain the contract for Air India and was made executive director of the company’s Indian subsidiary.
BACK in 2012, India’s then minister of heavy industries and a former aviation minister Praful Patel had urged Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene with Canada after the Globe and Mail newspaper reported that Canadian authorities had alleged that Karigar had described to others how he funnelled a $250,000 bribe to Patel through a political ally in 2007.
He became the first individual to be charged under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
The Globe and Mail report said Karigar had also been accused of bribing two Air India managers and conspiring with former Air India director of security Hasan Gafoor, to ensure that his employer – a multinational hi-tech security company called CryptoMetrics – was shortlisted for a $100-million contract for a facial-recognition security system.
Manmohan Singh cleared Patel of the allegations, the NDTV reported. It said Singh also wrote to Patel that the Canadian government would be told that the charges against him had been investigated and found to be untrue.