The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Ratul Puri, a nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had received $1 million from co-accused in VVIP chopper deal Christian Michel James.
Strongly opposing Ratul Puri’s anticipatory bail application, ED’s special prosecutor Davinder Pal Singh said, “These people are habitual in dealing with dirty money launderers. Ratul Puri needs to be inside (behind the bars).” Levelling a serious accusation, Singh said a key witness, who had deposed against Puri in connection with income tax raids against him in May has gone “missing”. The 73-year-old witness has either been made to flee or is feared to have been killed, ED told the local court. The prosecutor alleged that witnesses “fear” Puri and have been intimidated to retract from their previous statements.
According to Singh, such is the fear Singh that even the family of the “missing” witness is unwilling to give file a complaint with the police. The special prosecutor told the court that ED has recovered “hundreds of emails” exchanged between accused-turned-approver Rajiv Saxena and Ratul Puri wherein Puri can be seen directing Saxena how to “move the proceeds of crime”.
Interestingly, the said directions we re passed using a “fake” email id by Puri. ED has alleged that Puri deleted all the emails but the same were recovered from a dump found during the search operations on Puri’s premises.
The court was further told that Saxena paid over $4.5 million using his credit cards. The said payments stand conceded by Puri during his questioning, said the prosecutor.
Elaborating on the channel(s) adopted to launder money, the court was told that Michel paid money to Puri’s five companies through Saxena’s company Interstellar Technologies.
Rubbishing allegations of political vendetta levelled by Puri, ED said Puri is an individual who is involved in “money laundering and various nefarious activities”.