Swiss Timing charged in Delhi Games corruption case

2010-12-01 07:05

New Delhi – Sports timing company Swiss Timing has been charged by Indian police for alleged kickbacks contained in a contract it won for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The Swiss group, which has been timekeeper at a host of Olympics Games, most recently in Beijing in 2008, has been named in the latest charges in a wide-ranging police probe into the graft-tainted October event in New Delhi.

Two high-ranking officials, the closest aides to the unpopular chairperson of the event, Suresh Kalmadi, have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption.

Police said Swiss Timing had supplied equipment “at exorbitant rates of 1.07 billion rupees (R1.6 million), thereby causing huge loss to the government,” it said.

The accused men, organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot and director general VK Verma, are alleged to have twisted bidding criteria to eliminate other bidders and award the contract to Swiss Timing.

They “entered into criminal conspiracy with a Switzerland-based company” named as Swiss Timing in the police statement.

Swiss Timing was responsible for timing events at stadiums at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

It has a long history of working on major sporting events stretching back to 1972. Among other major events, it was the official timekeeper at the Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics.

Both Verma and Bhanot denied any wrongdoing after detectives searched their homes.

The Delhi Games were hit by claims of massive financial irregularities as the budget ballooned to an estimated $6 billion.

Last week, police arrested the sacked treasurer of the organising committee, M Jayachandran, on charges of forgery and cheating over the awarding of Games-related contracts.

Police have also charged two other former Games officials.

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