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ED makes fresh arrest in Moser Baer scam

IANS | August 23, 2023 10:48 AM

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested one Nitin Bhatnagar said to be one of the key accused in connection with the Moser Baer case, an official said.

Bhatnagar is reportedly a private banker and founder of Ellington Properties. He has been accused of doing hawala transactions for the co-accused.

Though the ED didn't comment on the matter but the sources said that he was trying to flee abroad when they arrested him from the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The ED has got his 10-day custodial remand and now he will be confronted with digital records, evidences etc.

Bhatnagar is said to be having connection with Ratul Puri and Rajiv Saxena.

On Tuesday, ED produced him before a special PMLA court. During the course of arguments, it was argued by the ED that his custodial interrogation is required for the purpose of proper investigation of the case.

The ED said that the accused had to be confronted with bulky documents and records.

Counsel appearing for the accused opposed the ED, saying that nothing was required to be inquired from his client as his client was already examined in detail by the the ED on a number of occasions.

"In the narration of the application in hand, it appears that in 2012, a bank account in the name of Pristine River Investments Ltd., was opened with Bank of Singapore and the Nitin Bhatnagar facilitated the same being the Relationship Manager. The said company was owned by the Savannah Trust of which Ratul Puri (one of the co-accused) was the settler while John Docherty and Milan Morjaria were the protectors. Therein were received from M/s UHY Saxena, M/s Mercon Como & M/s Midas Metals which were managed and controlled by Rajiv Saxena (one of the co-accused), " said the order copy accessed by IANS.

It further read that those amounts have been told to be alleged proceeds of crime in the hands of co-accused Rajiv Saxena.

It is further revealed by way of the application in hand that the bank account in the name of Pristine River Investments Ltd., has been used for the layering of proceeds of crime and this Bhatnagar knowingly assisted in doing so for the main accused Ratul Puri.

"The application further deciphers certain transactions in US Dollars etc effected during the year 2014 onwards which are allegedly the sham transactions reflected in the bank account of the aforesaid company. The averments are also there to the effect that Bhatnagar has also been instrumental in doing certain other acts which do have a bearing in connection with the present case, " read the order.

ED was then granted ten days custody of Bhatnagar by the special PMLA court.

The ED will now confront him with the digital devices, documents and other records connected to the case.

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