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Vodafone India in the middle of government probe

Bribes, spectrum and corrupt ministers...

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Vodafone India’s Mumbai and Delhi offices have been raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over a government investigation into the allocation of excess spectrum.

The office of Airtel and the homes of former Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary and ex-BSNL director Shyamal Ghosh were also raided in the investigation.

Vodafone India confirmed that the searches had taken place, and a spokesperson told AFP that the carrier had been cooperating with the CBI officials.

Vodafone and Bharti Airtel have claimed that the CBI interest was not a ‘raid’ but the federal police department’s way of accessing more documents from the companies as part of their ongoing investigations.

"All our documents are in complete compliance with the governing laws and regulations. Vodafone India is completely co-operating with the officials and will provide them all the required details as part of their checks," Vodafone said in a statement.

The Indian government has been plagued by a number of corruption scandals including allegations that the former telecoms minister was taking bribes to favour some carrier’s which wanted to buy mobile phone licences. A state auditor has revealed that kickbacks associated with the spectrum licences may have cost India $US39 billion in revenue. ®

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