THE BENAMI Prohibition Unit of the Income Tax Department has provisionally attached a bungalow worth Rs 300 crore in Lutyens’ Delhi and FDI of $40 million as part of its investigation against Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, and his father Deepak Puri, officials said Sunday.
The bungalow at 27A, APJ Abdul Kalam Road, attached under section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, is registered in the name of Ramaa Advisors Pvt Ltd, a Moser Baer group company, officials said.
The tax department claimed it was purchased utilising FDI of $3 million from a British Virgin Islands-based shell company, Bronson Financial Inc, on a long-term basis for the purpose of software development in 2002.
“Investigation revealed that unaccounted funds of promoters were round-tripped through BVI-based shell entity. The recipient company never commenced its business of software development. Instead, entire FDI was diverted for acquisition of house for use by the promoters Ratul Puri and his family,” the department alleged, adding that the market value of this property is estimated to be more than Rs 300 crore.
The second asset to be attached under the latest order is an FDI amount of $40 million that was kept in a company, Cobol Technologies Private Limited, and is claimed to have been infused from a Mauritius-based firm, Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund Ltd, it said.
Cobol Technologies is owned by the Puris, the I-T Department claimed. The department alleged its probe found that this fund was a benami of Ratul Puri and its shares were held by a Dubai-based operator, who is also an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper probe case. “The said fund has also been used to route commissions from defence contracts through a web of shell companies in tax havens,” it claimed.
In April, the department had conducted searches and seizures on Ratul and Deepak Puri’s companies and businesses during which the documents of these alleged illegal transactions were reportedly seized.
Last month, the tax department had attached FDI of $55 million in this case under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, for alleged round-tripping of unaccounted funds generated through over-invoicing of solar panels and other receipts through the same Dubai-based operator.