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Delhi court extends ED custody of Ratul Puri by 3 days in AgustaWestland money laundering case

Special judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Enforcement Directorate to quiz Puri for three more days.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 17, 2019, 07.48 AM IST
The money laundering case was lodged following alleged irregularities in purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary, AgustaWestland.
NEW DELHI: A local Court Monday remanded Ratul Puri to three more days of custodial interrogation of Enforcement Directorate (ED). The agency today alleged that “crucial leads led to the searches at Hindustan Power Projects Pvt Ltd (Puri’s company)” concluded on September 14 “where huge amount of documents/data in excess of 5 TB has been seized”.

The agency, in its remand paper, has alleged that “incriminating facts have been found from the corporate office of Hindustan Power group which have to be confronted” to Puri, details of which cannot be disclosed at this stage of investigation.

The remand paper mentions an email sent by a foreign national to Puri. “Vide email dated July 10, Greg Stetson of Mam-A Inc has forwarded various email correspondence with Ratul Puri on his email id”, ED has said. The said email id, according to the agency, was used by Puri to instruct distribution of alleged kickbacks paid to beneficiaries involved in the VVIP chopper scandal. Puri is being confronted on the said emails.

“Accounts of foreign entities and other incriminating documents retrieved from server and laptops of senior officials, are in the process of confrontation with the Puri”, the agency contended. Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, has repeatedly denied any association with the AgustaWestland deal.

The agency further told the Court that certain people, linked to VVIP chopper deal have been identified. “In the last five days, 12 people have been summoned and three have been interrogated”, ED said on Monday.

The remand paper reads “the search at residence of Niamat Bakshi led to the recovery of crucial documents, confrontation of seized material is still going on and verification of third parties mentioned in the documents is also in the process.

It adds “Niamat Bakshi has been working on the directions of Ratul Puri and is also responsible in manipulating/disposal/destruction of crucial evidence. The search at her residence led to the recovery of printouts of hundreds of pages pertaining to email ids and apart from crucial handwritten notes and diaries. The same are crucial leads in providing the missing links herein. The said documents also provide details of various other companies and email ids of Puri”.

ED has alleged that Puri has made efforts to thwart the investigation and prevent the agency from getting the correct factual scenario on record at times, even asking the concerned persons not to join investigation. The whereabouts of K K Khosla, former accountant of Puri, are still unknown, ED said.

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