Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, has been sent to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand by a special court in Delhi for more five days in the alleged Agusta Westland money laundering case.
He was initially remanded to judicial custody of 14 days in connection with a bank fraud case. On September 5, Delhi high court sent Puri under ED remand for 6 days for probing in connection with Agusta Westland money laundering case. His ED remand has been further extended to another five days.
The 47-year-old businessman has also been accused of a 354-crore bank fraud case, illegal transactions and tax evasion by the Income Tax Department. The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Puri on August 20 in connection with its investigation into alleged laundering of money. Apart from Ratul Puri, his father and Managing Director of Moser Baer Deepak Puri, Directors Nita Puri (Ratul’s mother and Kamal Nath’s sister), Sanjay Jain, and Vineet Sharma had been under the scanner and had been booked for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, and corruption.
The money laundering charge against the businessman was filed following alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters from Agusta Westland for VVIPs in 2007 under the Congress-led government.
The AgustaWestland deal was however scrapped by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2014 over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payments of kickbacks for securing the deal.
The Income Tax department has attached Rs 254 crore worth of "Benami" equity owned by Puri which he had allegedly received from a suspect in the Agusta Westland VVIIP chopper scam case via shell companies. The court had dismissed Puri's anticipatory bail granted on July 27, after he failed to be present for the investigation. He did not join the probe between July 29 and 31, and on August 6 and August 7. He was not accessible on his phone and was not available at his residence either, his whereabouts were not known as well, stated the ED.
(With PTI Inputs)