The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday (June 26) carried out searches at seven locations, including official and residential premises of businessman Ratul Puri, his father and others, in connection with a case of ₹787 crore alleged bank fraud involving their company Moser Baer Solar Ltd, officials said.
The case registered by the CBI on Thursday (June 25) pertains to ₹787 crore alleged loss incurred by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the credit facilities given to the company, they said.
“The searches, which started in the morning, are still continuing,” they added.
The searches were also carried out at official and residential premises of Ratul Puri’s father Deepak Puri, the officials said.
“The search teams are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for conducting the operation as a precautionary measure in the light of COVID-19,” CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur said.
This is the second FIR by the agency against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s nephew, Puri, who was earlier booked in August last year in connection with a Central Bank fraud of ₹345 crore.
The Central Bank, in its complaint, claimed that Moser Baer, which manufactures optical storage media like CDs, DVDs, and external hard disks, had taken loans from several banks since 2009.
The complaint alleged that the firm went for debt restructuring a number of times. On being unable to pay off the debt, a forensic audit was conducted, resulting in the account being declared as “fraud” by the bank in April 2019.
In October 2019, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a chargesheet against Puri, alleging that he was involved in bank frauds amounting to ₹7,900 crore.
Puri is also a prime accused in the AgustaWestland money laundering scam.
(With inputs from agencies)