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Kamal Nath nephew Ratul Puri held for ‘bank fraud’, weeks after he ‘escaped’ from ED office

Ratul Puri was earlier reported to have escaped from Enforcement Directorate office in Delhi when he was called for questioning in AgustaWestland scam.

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New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi Tuesday in connection with a multi-crore bank fraud case.

Puri, who is also being probed by the ED for his alleged involvement in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, had reportedly given a slip to ED investigators on the pretext of going to washroom when he was summoned to Delhi on 27 July for questioning in connection with the case.

After his escape, the ED, for the first time, had to approach local police to seek their help to arrest Puri. According to a source, the Special Cell of Delhi Police was “requested” to help the ED arrest Puri.

Also readED arrests defence agent in Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper scam

The ‘Rs 354.51 crore bank fraud’ case

On 18 August, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a fresh FIR against Puri’s company Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) and its directors for allegedly defrauding Central Bank of India to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore.

According to the FIR, a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy has been lodged against MBIL, its then executive director Puri, managing director Deepak Puri, full-time director Nita Puri, directors Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma, besides several unknown public servants and persons.

Following the registration of the FIR, the CBI even carried out raids at six locations.

After the CBI filed the FIR, the ED, too, filed a fresh case in connection with the bank fraud case the same day.

Fearing arrest by the ED, Puri had earlier moved an application in the Delhi High Court through his lawyer for anticipatory bail, which was rejected. Puri had also moved a Delhi court, seeking a stay on a non-bailable warrant against him, which was refused too.

The Delhi HC, however, on 14 August directed that no coercive action could be taken against Puri in the bank fraud case. It, however, granted the ED the liberty to join the investigation if required.

The high court also asked the ED to state in an affidavit the developments in the case so far, the reasons why it needed Puri’s custodial interrogation, and the details and extent of his property attached by the Income Tax Department.

Puri is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Hindustan Power Projects and under the ED scanner for his alleged involvement in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Earlier, ED had questioned Puri and brought him face-to-face with Sushen Mohan Gupta, a defence agent, arrested in March this year, in a money laundering case. Puri’s interrogation along with Gupta came after disclosures made by lobbyist Rajiv Saxena.

What the CBI FIR says

The FIR states the CBI received a complaint on 16 August from Central Bank of India, alleging that they were cheated of Rs 354.51 crore by Moser Baer — a company involved in the manufacture of optical storage media like compact discs, DVDs.

According to the complaint, the company took loans from various banks since 2009 and went for debt restructuring a number of times.

The complaint alleged that the company was unable to pay the debt and after a forensic audit, the account was declared as “fraud” by the Central Bank of India in April this year.

“MBIL has committed fraud and cheated the complainant bank, thereby making a wrongful gain to themselves and a wrongful loss to the lender bank which is a custodian of public money,” the FIR stated.

Also readKamal Nath’s nephew slips away from washroom during ED questioning in AgustaWestland case


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