New Delhi: Ratul Puri, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath’s nephew, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) late Monday night in connection with an alleged Rs 351 crore bank fraud case.
The 47-year-old Puri, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hindustan Power Projects, is among five people booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after a complaint was filed by the Central Bank of India, on August 16, accusing the now-defunct Moser Baer India Limited, a manufacturer of digital data storage devices, of defrauding it to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore.
The CBI had filed an FIR in the alleged bank fraud case on Monday and raided six locations including the residences and offices of the accused. Besides Puri, who served as an executive director at the time of the alleged fraud, those named in the FIR include Moser Baer founder and managing director Deepak Puri and its directors Nita Puri, Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma. Deepak and Nita Puri are also his parents.
The ED initiated investigations into the case on Monday.
In its complaint, the Central Bank had alleged that Moser Baer had taken loans from various banks since 2009 but ‘misused’ the money.
However, when it was unable to pay the loan, a forensic audit was done and the account was declared as ‘fraud’ by the Central Bank of India on April 20, 2019. In its complaint to the CBI, the bank said, “The MBIL 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”.
The bank, in its complaint, further said that while Puri resigned from Moser Baer in 2012, his parents continue to be its board.
Puri is currently being investigated by the ED over his role in the AgustaWestland chopper scam and was summoned by the agency for questioning over the same on Monday. However, he was later told that he was being arrested in the bank fraud case.