A Delhi court Wednesday further extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of alleged middleman Sushen Mohan Gupta in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case by another three days, PTI reported. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri has been called in by the agency today for interrogation in the case, PTI quoted the ED as saying to the court.
Earlier, on March 30, Delhi’s Patiala House Court had also extended his ED custody by four days. The alleged defence dealer Gupta was arrested by the agency last week and produced before a special court, which remanded him in ED custody for four days.
According to the ED, Gupta’s name cropped up in the disclosures made by accused Rajeev Saxena, who has turned an approver in the case. Saxena told ED that Gupta was a close associate of Gautam Khaitan and allegedly helped him launder kickbacks by floating shell companies.
“Gupta has been acting as a defence sector middleman for several years. We suspect his role in other defence deals as well. He would be questioned about them along with his role in the AgustaWestland deal,” a senior ED official had said.
Gupta has been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the agency had sought 14 days of custodial interrogation. However, counsel for Gupta had opposed ED’s remand application and said custodial interrogation was not required as his client had joined the investigation whenever sought by the agency.
During the period when kickbacks from AgustaWestland were received in the accounts of Interstellar Technologies through IDS Tunisia, Gupta had had direct dealings with M/S Interstellar Technologies, the ED had said.