In the years it was preparing to swallow and digest the fugitive from natural and literal justice, Union Carbide, The Dow Chemical Company spent $200,000 through its Indian subsidiary Dow-Nocil on bribes for Indian officials. As a result, Dow Agrochemical brands such as Dursban – containing the compound Chlorpyrifos, linked to severe health problems in humans such as nerve damage, asthma and birth defects and banned from domestic use in the US – found the necessary licenses to be sold in India.
Today, the CBI raided six Dow Nocil offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and elsewhere. Yet even while its criminal investigation bureau finally examines the scandal, India’s executive is striving to open India up to $1 billion of Dow investment on the promise of eradicating Dow’s legal inconveniences relating to Carbide’s poisoning of Bhopal. We will not hold our breath on news of the CBI raiding the highest office in the land.
Newspost India, 21st August 2007
CBI Raids Dow Chemical’s Indian Subsidiary For Graft
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday raided six premises of a subsidiary of leading US firm Dow Chemical and its consultants in the country for allegedly bribing Indian government officials to obtain a licence for its insecticide products.
‘We have raided six offices of Dow-Nocil Corp. Protection Ltd., a subsidiary of Dow Chemical based in US, and other accused for allegedly paying bribes to key Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) officials to obtain licence for the marketing of its insecticide products in India,’ said a senior CBI official.
The CIBRC, a wing under the Ministry of Agriculture, is entitled to grant licences for the marketing of insecticide products in the country.
The CBI sleuths swooped down at Dow-Nocil offices in – Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gujarat – after the agriculture ministry ordered a probe into the matter a few months ago.
According to CBI officials, the matter was exposed after the Security Exchange Commission of the US passed an order earlier this year for ‘cease and desist’ proceedings against Dow-Nocil, after it allegedly paid ‘illegal gratification’ to the CIBRC officials during the period 1996-2001 to get licences.
DE-Nocil was established in 1994 but later it changed its name to Dow Agro Sciences Private Ltd. in 2005. The company, with Mumbai headquarters, manufactures and markets pesticides and other agriculture products.
‘To market and sell its three products – Pride (NI-2s), Nurelle-D and Dursban 10G – in India the company spent a whopping US$ 200,000, out of which $32,000 was allegedly paid to R.L. Rajak, director of the licensing committee. The foreign company also gifted Rajak jewellery, travel and hotel allowances,’ the official told IANS.
‘With the help of Rajak and other CIRBC officials, the company obtained licences in year 1997, 1998 and 2000,’ the official informed.
The money was paid to CIRBC officials through consultants and unrelated companies to facilitate expeditious registration of Dow-Nocil products.
‘The amount was paid by Dr C. Ramakrishnan, Dr P. Natrajan and one Banerjee – former employees and consultants with Dow-Nocil – to the CIRBC officials,’ the official added.
‘The expedited registration of products resulted in the company generating an estimated $435,000 in direct operations margins from the accelerated sales of their products and out of which $330,000 went to Dow Chemicals based on its ownership in the company,’ said the official.
The CBI said they have registered a case in this regard and further investigations were on.
Dow Chemical is also facing the ire of thousands of 1984 Bhopal gas leak tragedy survivors after it bought over the Union Carbide plant there. The victims are demanding that Dow compensate them for the injuries and health problems and also the environmental pollution from the toxic waste dumped in the Union Carbide factory premises.