Ratul Puri, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s Nephew, Arrested In Bank Fraud Case
The Enforcement Directorate has arrested businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in an alleged Rs 354-crore bank fraud case, ED officials said on Tuesday.
Ratul Puri was arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2010, on Monday night after he appeared before ED after the central investigation agency filed a fresh criminal case against him and others, taking cognisance of a CBI FIR filed in the matter last week.
It is understood that ED wants to undertake custodial interrogation of Ratul Puri as he has allegedly been non-cooperative in the bank fraud case. He will be produced before a special court in New Delhi on Tuesday, the ED officials cited above said.
Ratul Puri was already facing heat for his alleged involvement in the AgustaWesland VVIP chopper scam. A court issued him a non-bailable warrant after ED submitted he might try to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses "as he already did earlier".
However, on August 14, the Delhi High Court granted him interim protection against arrest till Tuesday.
The latest PMLA case emerges from a CBI FIR of Aug. 17, where Ratul Puri, his father and Moser Baer India Ltd. promoter Deepak Puri, mother Nita Puri (Kamal Nath's sister) and others were booked in connection with a Rs 354 crore bank fraud case filed by the Central Bank of India.
On Sunday, CBI carried out multiple raids in pursuance of the FIR.
The Puri family, and other individuals including Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma were booked by CBI for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption. Ratul Puri was booked in this case because he was an executive director at Moser Baer India. He had resigned from the post in 2012, but his parents continue to be on the board, Central Bank of India had said in a statement and complaint to CBI.
Moser Baer had been taking loans from various banks since 2009 and underwent debt resolution a number of times. When it was unable to pay the debt, a forensic audit was conducted and the account was declared as "fraud" by Central Bank of India on April 20, 2019.
Moser Baer India “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", Central Bank of India said in submissions to CBI.
According to Central Bank of India, Moser Baer India and its directors forged and fabricated documents to garner funds from the bank. "MBIL has caused unlawful loss to our bank to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore as on November 29, 2014, and interest thereon by getting unlawful gains," the complaint said.
Ratul Puri, meanwhile, is facing criminal investigations by three main central probe agencies—the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax Department. The taxman has attached a number of his alleged 'benami' assets in the recent past and charged him with benefiting from purported kickbacks generated in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.