Prominent Sikh businessman charged with bribing Caribbean minister

Prominent British-Sikh entrepreneur Peter Virdee, also known as Hardip Singh. — Image supplied by the author

In London, the UK National Crime Agency has formally charged esteemed British-Sikh businessman Peter Virdee, also recognized as Hardip Singh, in a major bribery case. Virdee, accused of corrupt activities involving a government minister in the Caribbean, was presented before the Westminster Magistrates Court.

At the age of 50, Virdee, who serves as a director for his firm, has been granted conditional release and is scheduled to attend a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on the 20th of June, according to information from the NCA.

The NCA stated, “Peter Virdee, also known in some circles as Hardip Singh, was brought before the Westminster Magistrates Court and faces charges linked to bribing an international government official. From January 2015 to July 2017, he is suspected of providing unlawful incentives to Asot Michael, a minister responsible for Tourism, Economic Development, Investment, and Energy in Antigua and Barbuda. This was in order to advantage PV Energy Ltd, the business he directs. In line with these allegations, PV Energy Ltd has been similarly indicted for failing to prevent bribery regarding these same illegal acts.”

Virdee has yet to publicly respond to these allegations, although individuals close to him have repudiated them.

The official documents reveal that Virdee stands accused of engaging in activities that contravene Section 6 of the Bribery Act 2010 by offering bribes to an international public officer.

The bribery charge details state that between the start of 2015 and late July 2017, PV Energy failed to take adequate measures to stop Singh, aka Peter Virdee, an affiliate of PV Energy Limited, from providing bribes aimed at securing business or advantages in operational activities for the firm.

In the past, during the reign of the PTI government in July 2019, Virdee pledged to allocate substantial funds to support Gurdwaras in Pakistan as a gesture corresponding to the Pakistani government’s initiative to create the Kartarpur Corridor, which would facilitate Sikh pilgrims worldwide to visit their sacred sites in the country.

He declared that the Peter Virdee Foundation would collaborate with other Sikh organizations to channel approximately £500 million into Pakistan to revamp and upgrade numerous Gurdwaras across the nation.

Virdee, known for his commercial success, has engaged in philanthropy and political donations, contributing £100,000 to the Conservative Party while also donating to the Labour Party.

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