The Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved Delhi Court on Wednesday seeking the issuance of a non-bailable warrant against Ratul Puri in connection with a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam. Puri is the nephew of Congress veteran and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Kamal Nath.
The law enforcement agency, while seeking a non-bailable arrest warrant against Hindustan Power Projects Pvt. Ltd (HEPCL) chairman, told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Puri was ‘non-cooperative’ and ‘untraceable’. In its application, the ED mentioned that Puri who was directed to join the investigation on Tuesday had failed to turn up before the agency.
The court is likely to take up the application for hearing on Thursday.
Puri’s anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the court earlier today, terming the allegations against him were ‘grave’ and ‘serious’ and that “investigation is at a crucial stage.”
Puri, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hindustan Power Projects Pvt. Ltd (HEPCL) has appeared before the ED for questioning and the agency wants his custody to investigate the matter further.
The counsel appearing for ED expressed fears about Puri’s plan to flee the country given the political clout that he enjoys.
On July 29, 2019, the ED had informed the Delhi court that Puri had received a certain amount in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam.
As per the ED, Puri’s role came to the fore after Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged defence agent was arrested and Rajeev Saxena, another accused in the AgustaWestland case was deported on January 31 from UAE.
The report suggests that Puri’s foreign entities have directly benefitted from the proceeds of Interstellar Technologies Limited. Investigation reveals, he received funds from both money laundering chains involved in the case.
The investigation points out to different incriminating ‘material evidence’ to establish the complicity of Puri whereas Gupta’s diary and emails recovered from Saxena exhibit that Puri received the proceeds of crime.
ED also claimed that Puri received the proceeds of crime from alleged middleman Christian Michel James.