Malaysian floating production contractor Bumi Armada said it is caught up in an investigaton by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into a former finance minister of India.

Bumi Armada said it and a subsidiary Bumi Armada Navigation had been named in prosecutions initiated by the CBI and the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) with the trial court at Rouse Avenue, New Delhi.

The prosecutions were initiated against Palaniappan Chidambaram, a former finance minister of India, his son Karti Chidambaram, Chess Management Services - a company allegedly controlled by Karti Chidambaram - and several other corporations and individuals based in India and Malaysia, including Bumi Armada and Bumi Armada Navigation.

The prosecution alleges, inter alia, that in the year 2006, Palaniappan Chidambaram illegally granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval for an indirect investment into Aircel Limited by Maxis Communications, and that as a quid pro quo (in relation to those charges relating to the two Bumi companies), the two Bumi companies had, between 2007 and 2009, allegedly paid US$92,000 and US$12,000, respectively, to Chess, which was allegedly illegal gratification passed on to Palaniappan Chidambaram.

Bumi Armada said payment of those sums to Chess were for IT solutions software and server hosting services provided to the two Bumi companies during that period.

The two Bumi companies appeared at a hearing in the trial court "to demonstrate their willingness to fully co-operate with the CBI and the ED and to aid and assist them and the court in these ongoing proceedings".

Bumi Armada said it does not expect the proceedings to have any material impact on the group’s ability to carry on its business, and would provide updates from time to time on any further material developments on the matter.

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