New Delhi: The Income Tax Department has attached ₹254 crore worth of ‘benami’ equity of Ratul Puri which he had allegedly received from a suspect in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case via shell companies, officials said on Tuesday.Also Read - AgustaWestland Scam: Delhi Court to Hear ED's Plea Seeking 14-Day Remand of Ratul Puri
Puri is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Also Read - AgustaWestland Chopper Scam: ED Arrests Ratul Puri in Money Laundering Case
Officials said a provisional order for attachment of the shares or non-cumulative compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) has been issued under the Benami Property Transactions Act. The funds were received as FDI investment in Optima Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, a group concern of his father Deepak Puri’s company Moser Baer, they said. Also Read - AgustaWestland Case: Businessman Ratul Puri Wants to Surrender Before CBI Court
The I-T department alleges that the investment of ₹254 crore was generated through “over-invoicing of imports of solar panel” by another group company, namely HEPCL, and was “facilitated through shell companies” of Dubai-based operator Rajiv Saxena, who is an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case.
Saxena is under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the chopper scam case, while Ratul is being questioned. They said Ratul is the beneficial owner of these benami held equity shares and has been charged under the relevant law.
The tax department had conducted raids on Ratul and Deepak Puri’s companies and businesses in April this year during which the documents of these alleged illegal transactions were reportedly seized.