The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday carried out raids at various locations linked to former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s nephew and former executive director of Moser Baer, Ratul Puri in Delhi and Noida after registering a fresh case of alleged fraud with the Punjab National Bank and other consortium of banks worth Rs 787 crore.
“Multiple teams of the agency are conducting searches in Delhi and Noida at the premises of the accused, including Moser Baer Solar Ltd (MBSL) Directors Dipak Puri, Ratul Puri and others in a case related to alleged loss of Rs 787.25 crore to PNB and other consortium of banks,” said a CBI official.
“The multiple teams during the searches at the premises are taking full safety in view of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. They are wearing PPE kits and ensuring all protocols for the Covid-19,” said CBI spokesperson.
The officer said that the raids came in the wake of a fresh case being registered recently on a complaint by PNB against MBSL and others, including its Directors and other unknown persons and bank officials.
According to CBI officials, the raids are on at over half a dozen places in the two cities and the number of places can go up during the day.
In August 2019, the CBI had registered a case against Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) and conducted raids at six places to nab its current and former officials for cheating the Central Bank of India to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore.
The company involved in the manufacture of optical storage media like compact discs, DVDs, solid state storage devices was taking loans from various banks since 2009 and went for debt restructuring a number of times, the bank had alleged in the complaint which is now part of the CBI FIR.
According to the CBI, Ratul Puri, his company, his father and Managing Director Deepak Puri, Directors Nita Puri (Ratul’s mother and Kamal Nath’s sister), Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma were booked for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption.
Nita Puri is the sister of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and her son Ratul Puri is his nephew. He was arrested by the ED in connection with money laundering involving the Rs 354 crore fraud with the Central Bank of India. The ED had registered the case on the basis of the CBI FIR. Ratul Puri is also under scanner for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland deal through his companies.
The ED has alleged that accounts associated with firms owned and operated by Ratul Puri were used to receive kickbacks and launder money in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal. The ED in its chargesheet in October last year also alleged that loans to the tune of Rs 7,979.30 crore taken from various banks were misused and misappropriated by MBIL and its directors and promoters for their own use and have further been transferred to the companies of Hindustan Power Group of Puri.
The financial probe agency also accused Ratul Puri of “spending over $4.5 million” from a credit card issued from Dubai through alleged AgustaWestland deal middleman Rajiv Saxena on a “lavish lifestyle on holidays travelling in private jets and night clubs”.
Ratul Puri was granted bail on December 2, 2019.