The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Cadbury India Private Limited (Mondelez Foods Private Limited) for alleged corruption and misrepresentation of facts to avail area-based tax benefits in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh.
The central agency filed an FIR against Cadbury India Ltd for alleged corruption in obtaining licenses for its factory in Himachal Pradesh in 2009-10, reported India Today.
"Some members of the executive board of the company, along with key managers, collectively decided to manipulate records, engage intermediaries to route bribes and cover up all the evidence that had surfaced during the internal investigation," the agency said.
The central probing agency also carried out search operations at 10 locations including Solan, Baddi, Mohali, Pinjore and Mumbai.
Cadbury India Ltd conspired with Central Excise officials between 2009-11 and availed excise benefits worth Rs 241 crore for its new unit. The unit, built-in Himachal Pradesh's Baddi, was reportedly manufacturing 5 Star and Gems chocolate.
CBI has also booked 12 individuals, including two of the 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.
CIL had set up a manufacturing unit at Sandholi village for manufacturing malt-based food (Bournvita). The unit began commercial production on May 19, 2005, the FIR states.
The agency has alleged that senior executives of the company conspired with private individuals and made payments to get approvals for setting up the second unit as a separate company to avail tax benefits for which it was not eligible.
CBI also found details of various payments made to cover the alleged bribes and commissions.
The agency has alleged that the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence had also investigated the matter and slapped a fine of Rs 241 crore on the company.