20 Aug 2019
MP CM's nephew, Ratul Puri, arrested for Rs. 354cr bank fraud
Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a Rs. 354 crore bank fraud case, despite multiple attempts to evade arrest.
The ex-Executive Director of the now-defunct Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL), Puri was booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation along with four directors of the electronics company on Sunday.
Puri arrested under Prevention of Money Laundering Act
The ED placed Puri under arrest late yesterday under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was summoned by the probing agency in connection with the bank loan fraud case, in which the Central Bank of India had accused Moser Baer of misusing loans taken from multiple banks.
Puri will be produced before a Delhi court today, officials said.
Moser Baer, functionaries, allegedly cheated Central Bank of Rs. 354.51cr
Since experiencing credit failures in 2009, MBIL took credit facilities worth about Rs. 1,962 crore from 14 public sector banks.
The company allegedly went for debt restructuring a number of times.
When it was unable to pay the debt, a forensic audit was done and in April, MBIL's account was declared fraud.
MBIL and its functionaries allegedly cheated the bank of Rs. 354.51 crore.
Moser Baer, directors, misused bank funds for personal use: Complaint
Central Bank of India's complaint read, "The funds granted by the banks have been misused and misappropriated by MBIL and its directors for their own personal use, MBIL and its Directors and promoters have also committed fraud in respect of reporting book debts, which were also one of the primary securities of the bank."
Yesterday, the CBI had conducted searches at six locations.
Puri also a suspect in AgustaWestland VVIP choppers case
The ED is also investigating Puri's alleged role in the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers case.
The case pertains to allegations of bribe to facilitate a Rs. 3,600 crore deal in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary, AgustaWestland.
He has also been questioned several times in the past few months by investigating agencies for alleged tax evasion.
ED to interrogate Puri in custody; he allegedly evaded probe
Notably, the ED summoned Puri in the AgustaWestland case yesterday, and arrested him for bank fraud.
Reportedly, it wanted to interrogate Puri in custody as he was allegedly evading probe.
Puri told a Delhi court that he was willing to join the probe but requested a cancellation of a non-bailable warrant against him.
He was granted interim protection from arrest which ended today.
CBI booked Puri, his parents, two other MBIL directors
Along with Puri, who resigned from his directorial position at MBIL in 2012, CBI officials also booked MBIL Managing Director Deepak Puri and directors Nita Puri, Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, and corruption. Deepak and Nita are Ratul Puri's parents.
Moser Baer deems Puri's arrest to be "unfortunate"
Meanwhile, in a statement issued today, Moser Baer noted, "The arrest by Enforcement Directorate is unfortunate. Moser Baer had operated in accordance with all legal compliances and this case now, when Moser Baer is in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), is motivated."