Widening its net in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam probe to cover equipment manufacturers network implementation partners involved in the games communication contracts, including international computer hardware maker Cisco, according to a report.
"The CWG's communication, video and data transfer scam appears to be in range of Rs350-400 crore. CBI is now looking at the major suppliers of equipment for the project. Cisco was the largest supplier involved in the deal, accounting for over 80 per cent. The CBI may soon start probing Cisco, other suppliers and partners," The Times of India quoted an unnamed CBI sources as saying.
When contacted, a Cisco spokesperson told the paper, "The company understands that the CBI is conducting an investigation - to our knowledge we are not the focus of this or any related investigation. We have offered our complete support and cooperation to the CBI, and will do so for any other government authority."
The CBI had on Wednesday registered a case against officers of MTNL and HCL Infosystems dealing in optical fibre transmission for criminal conspiracy and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI alleged that initial estimate of broadcasting data transmission project for the sporting extravaganza was just Rs31.43 crore, but MTNL officials included a broadcast video network based on IP/MPLS (internet protocol/multiprotocol label switching) technology, which resulted in huge cost escalation. This change in specification was done with an intention to cause huge pecuniary advantage to the contracting firm, HCL Infosystems.
On Cisco's role, CBI officials said that they have not begun investigations but these will be conducted later. CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra told Times of India, "Presently, we are looking into the role of HCL among private companies. Maybe Cisco will be probed but we have not started investigations against the company yet."