Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the then executive director of Moser Baer, has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with a Rs 354-crore bank fraud case, officials said on Sunday, PTI reported.
Besides Puri, the company and four other directors have also been booked by the central agency in connection with the case, officials added. Searches were also held across six locations, including the offices and residences of the former and present directors of the company.
Those booked include the company Moser Baer, Managing Director and Ratul’s father, Deepak Puri, directors Nita Puri, Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma. They have been booked alleged for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption, officials were quoted as saying by PTI.
The Central Bank of India has alleged that the company has taken various types of credit facilities worth about Rs 1,962 crore from different banks over the period. The bank had extended credit facilities to the tune of over Rs 332 crore to the company till November, 2011. The bank claimed that the company and its directors forged and fabricated documents to induce Central Bank of India to release funds, an audit report cited in the complaint read.
The development comes nearly a week after the BENAMI Prohibition Unit of the Income Tax (IT) Department provisionally attached a bungalow worth Rs 300 crore in Lutyens Delhi registered in the name of Moser Baer group company and an FDI of $40 million.
The bungalow was 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. 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.
Ratul is also an accused in the Agusta Westland case which pertains to alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary, AgustaWestland.
According to the ED, the proceeds of the crime have been deposited in the accounts of different companies owned by Puri and he is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by the other accused and to determine last-mile connectivity of the proceeds.