CBI raids Ratul Puri’s premises (Ld)

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Spelling more trouble for former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's nephew Ratul Puri, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday carried out raids at over half a dozen of locations in Delhi and Noida after registering a fresh case of alleged fraud with the Punjab National Bank and other consortium of banks worth Rs 787 crore.

A CBI official said, “Multiple teams of the agency are conducting searches in Delhi and Noida at the premises of the accused, including Moser Baer Solar Ltd (MBSL) Directors Dipak Puri, Ratul Puri and others in a case related to alleged loss of Rs 787.25 crore to PNB and other consortium of banks.”

The official said that the raids are on at over half a dozen places in the two cities and the number of places can go up during the day. The officer said that the raids came in the wake of a fresh case being registered recently on a complaint by PNB against MBSL and others, including its Directors and other unknown persons and bank officials.

The officer also said that the multiple teams during the searches at the premises are taking full safety in view of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The officer said that the teams are wearing PPE kits and ensuring all protocols for the Covid-19. In August 2019, the CBI had registered a case against Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) and conducted raids at six places to nab its current and former officials for cheating the Central Bank of India to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore.

According to the CBI, Deepak Puri, Managing Director of MBIL, his wife Nita Puri, whole-time director of MBIL, son Ratul Puri, former Executive Director of MBIL, Sanjay Jain, Director, Vineet Sharma, Director, and other unidentified public servants and private persons were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy for cheating, forgery and criminal misconduct.

Nita Puri is the sister of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Ratul Puri is his nephew. Ratul Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with money laundering involving the Rs 354 crore fraud with the Central Bank of India. The ED had registered the case on the basis of the CBI FIR. Ratul Puri is also under scanner for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland deal through his companies.

The ED has alleged that accounts associated with firms owned and operated by Ratul Puri were used to receive kickbacks and launder money in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal. The ED in its chargesheet in October last year also alleged that loans to the tune of Rs 7,979.30 crore taken from various banks were misused and misappropriated by MBIL and its directors and promoters for their own use and have further been transferred to the companies of Hindustan Power Group of Puri.

The financial probe agency also accused Ratul Puri of “spending over $4.5 million” from a credit card issued from Dubai through alleged AgustaWestland deal middleman Rajiv Saxena on a “lavish lifestyle on holidays travelling in private jets and night clubs”.

Ratul Puri was granted bail on December 2, 2019.



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