8 Dec 2010

Delhi organisers accused of owing millions

7:21 am on 8 December 2010

Organisers of this year's New Delhi Commonwealth Games have been accused of owing companies millions of dollars and blocking equipment used for the opening and closing ceremonies from leaving India.

Several companies, including the one in charge of the ceremonies which cost about 65 million dollars, say they've yet to receive final payments and have been unable to re-export their own equipment since the Games ended on Oct. 14.

Ric Birch, who has organised Olympic and Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies since 1982 says it's a scandalous situation, and international companies should beware of entering into business contracts with Indian government agencies.

Birch says he's written to Indian government and Commonwealth Games officials, and the only reply he's had was from the Games Federation's chief executive Mike Hooper who said he was unable to contact organisers.

Apart from the money the companies have yet to receive, equipment worth millions of dollars is stored in dozens of freight containers in India unable to clear customs.