The chief of Thiess mining operations in India has been arrested on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust.
Sources within Indian police have revealed that Dr Raman Srikanth, CEO of the Leighton Holdings subsidiary Theiss Minecs, was arrested in Kolkata and transported in custody to Hyderabad on May 9 and is currently held in the Cherlapally prison.
Thiess Minecs has told Indian press that Srikanth was arrested in relation to ongoing civil proceedings filed by Roshni Developers Private Limited in Singapore, who filed a private petition in a local court alleging that Thiess Minecs has resorted to criminal breach of and cheating by violating an agreement dating back to 2010.
Thiess Pty Ltd chairman Bruce Monro has been named as accused number two in the case, while Thiess Minecs is number one, and Srikanth is number two.
Leighton Holdings and Thiess have declined to comment further on the issue.
Leighton Holdings has advised the ASX that the complaint is unfounded and urgent applications are being made to the court in Hyderabad to dismiss it.
Leighton Holdings has also advised of another dispute involving Thiess Minecs and a client, NTPC Ltd.
A notice has been issued purporting to terminate the Pakri Barwadih coal mining contract, which was awarded to Thiess Minecs in 2010, and has a current value over the next five years of $267 million.
NTPC has called $18.5 million worth of bank guarantees issued by Thiess Minecs, however Thiess will initiate proceedings to recover those funds.