Abhishek Verma is an arms dealer and the main suspect in the Scorpene submarines deal, AgustaWestland VVIP helicopters bribery scandal and Navy War Room Leak Case.
In 2006, Verma was accused by the opposition political party BJP of receiving kickbacks amounting to around US$200 million, through a US$4.5 billion Indian Military deal, as a consequence of the Indian government purchasing six Scorpène-class submarines from Thales. The BJP raised this in Parliament, pointing out his proximity to the Congress party, and alleged he had gained the agency to negotiate the contract with Thales as a result of bribing certain Congress Party politicians.
Verma and Thales immediately denied all the allegations, and launched a lawsuit against The Outlook Magazine, which had been the first to break the story in February 2006. He also sued the former BJP Deputy Prime Minister of India, L. K. Advani, for criminal defamation; Advani had campaigned against Abhishek, demanding the Government charge the latter with corruption.
In 2009 the Delhi High Court exonerated Verma when the Central Bureau of Investigation published their report into the allegations: they stated that the monies received by him was not a result of the submarine sale.On 7 June 2012, CBI raided Verma’s 10 premises and establishments in India after registration of cases of corruption and money laundering.
In 2013, Verma was named a suspect in the AgustaWestland 12 VVIP helicopters scandal to the Indian Government for massive bribes exceeding Euros 50 million were paid to the Indian politicians including Sonia Gandhi as alleged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. He is suspected to have played the role as the middleman in the chopper deal and the nexus was exposed by TimesNow TV with their global investigation.
Due to various other arms deal-related cases that Verma and his wife are alleged to have been involved in, the government attempted to freeze their secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein, which are said to hold over US$500 million; however the Liechtenstein authorities rejected the Indian government’s request to open the accounts in 2015.
When Enforcement Directorate raids were carried out at Verma’s residences, among the goods seized were 36 paintings, valued at over US$5 million and high end designer watches worth US$1 million.
Leaked documents were sent to Indian politicians Arvind Kejriwal & Prashant Bhushan who released these to the press as a result CBI and Enforcement Directorate arrested Abhishek and his wife Anca in multiple cases of defense sector purchases related corruption & money laundering aggregating to US$12 billion (Rs.80,000 crores). Presently, Abhishek and his wife Anca are incarcerated in Tihar Jail,Delhi awaiting trial