VVIP CHOPPER SCAM… Taxmen seize assets of 260cr from Kamal Nath nephew

Ratul Puri … CORNERED…


NEW DELHI: Benami equities/shares of Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, of the order of over Rs 250crore, has been attached by the income tax department. Reports said on Tuesday that he had allegedly received commissions in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam during the UPA-II period. 

The IT department had seized documents relating to fraudulent transactions, n a raid held on Ratul’s premises in April last. The nephew has applied for anticipatory bail in a Delhi court on Tuesday as hints came the noose was tightening around him.

Ratul Puri is likely to be arrested soon, which is likely to give a jolt to Kamal Nath, who is known in business circles for long as percentage man, after a top businessman spoke of Nath’s “penchant for making a cut from every deal” while he was Union minister. Kamal Nath was a close chum of Sanjay Gandhi and surfaced in politics during the Emergency period. He was close to Sonia Gandhi during the UPA periods. Nath claims his family earned all its wealth in the past few decades through successful business practices.

Notably, for Kamal Nath and his family now, Rs 250crore is simply peanuts. The family, which built its financial muscles in recent decades, has huge business and other interests in central India spanning several states. Nath is among the “most successful” politicians. But chances are that the noose might, sooner or later, tighten around him too.

The order to attach the wealth was issued by the tax department under the benami property transaction act. Ratul Puri had given a slip to the Enforcement Directorate this past week when he was called to its office here for questioning. He escaped from there by telling officials he wanted to go to toilet.

Officials told the media that the slush funds were received by way of FDI investment in Optima Infra run by his father Deepak Puri through a firm Moser Baer. The money came in by way of over-invoicing of imports of solar panels, in a fraudulent manner through another firm HEPCL. He got help in the deal from Dubai-based fraudster in the chopper deal, Rajiv Saxena, officials said. –IHN-NN

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