The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday carried out searches at 10 locations of Cadbury India Ltd, now known as Mondelez Foods Private Limited, in connection with a case it registered for alleged corruption and misrepresentation of facts to fraudulently avail area-based tax benefits in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh.
A CBI source related to the probe told IANS, “Multiple teams of CBI carried out searches at 10 locations in Solan, Baddi, Mohali, Pinjore and Mumbai.” The CBI registered a case after the preliminary enquiry it conducted against the company which showed that it allegedly “paid bribes, misrepresented facts and manipulated records to fraudulently avail area-based exemption benefits (central excise and income tax) in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, knowing fully well that it was not entitled to avail area-based tax exemption benefits”. The unit, built in Himachal Pradesh’s Baddi region, was reportedly manufacturing 5 Star and Gems chocolate. According to the FIR, an enquiry was conducted Anti-Corruption Unit of CBI, Shimla branch on the allegation that Mondelez Foods had paid bribes, misrepresented facts and manipulated the records to fraudulently avail area-based exemptions benefits on excise duty and Income Tax.
The CBI has booked a total of 12 individuals, including two then Central excise officials, the then Cadbury India Limited (CIL) Vice President (finance and compliance) Vikram Arora and its directors Rajesh Garg and Jailboy Phillips. Cadbury India Ltd had set up a manufacturing unit at the Sandholi village for manufacturing malt-based food (Bournvita). The unit started commercial production from May 19, 2005, the CBI said in the FIR.