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AgustaWestland case: Court sends Ratul Puri to five days of additional ED custody

FE Online
Ratul Puri was arrested by the central probe agency on September 4, 2019 (ANI Image)

A Delhi court on Wednesday sent businessman Ratul Puri for another five days of Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand in its ongoing probe into the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money laundering case. The central investigation agency had earlier sought an eight-day custodial interrogation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew.

He was arrested by the central probe agency on September 4, 2019, and was remanded to one-day judicial custody. Earlier, the income tax department had charged Puri with benefiting from the reported kickbacks generated in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP choppers deal case, cancelled by India in 2014 on charges of corruption.

Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a separate money laundering on August 20 for his alleged involvement in Rs 354 crore bank fraud case. He was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the bank fraud case.

The PMLA case was registered from a CBI FIR of August 17, 2019, in which Ratul Puri along with his father Deepak Puri and mother Nita Puri were booked in connection with a fraud case filed by the Central Bank of India. The bank claimed that the company and its directors forged and fabricated the documents to induce Central Bank of India to release funds.

"MBIL has cause 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, reports PTI.

The CBI had carried out multiple searches in pursuance of this complaint at six locations including the residential premises and offices of the accused directors Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma.

Ratul Puri was booked in this PMLA case in his capacity as executive director of Moser Baer India Limited. The company manufactured optical storage media like compact discs (CDs), DVDs, solid-state storage devices.