Cops dawdled for 23 days | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cops dawdled for 23 days

delhi Updated: Jan 06, 2011 02:45 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Hindustan Times
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The Gurgaon police took 23 days to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the prime accused in the R300 crore Citibank fraud, Shivraj Puri. They also took their time arresting him and seizing his computers, giving him plenty of time to cover his tracks.

According to Citibank , after spotting unusually heavy transactions in the joint accounts of Puri’s relatives, bank officials on December 4 informed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and RBI and filed a criminal complaint against him and his relatives at the DLF City (Phase-2) police station on the statement of its assistant vice-president Binu Soman.

The police, however, registered an FIR only on December 27 — more than three weeks later. Puri was finally arrested on December 30, after the police managed to pressure his family into making him surrender.

After lodging the complaint, Citibank immediately suspended Puri and took away his official laptop. But his private laptop remained with him, giving him time to destroy evidence. The computers were seized only after Puri’s arrest.

Now, more than a week after the fraud surfaced, the police are still clueless as to where the R300 crore went. Police officials refused to comment on the matter.

Puri, a relationship manager with a Citibank branch in Gurgaon, duped high-networth customers into investing large sums of money by promising great returns.

Just before his arrest, he had told HT, that he’d actually made transactions worth R800 crore and the bank authorities knew about this.

On the basis of Puri’s statement, the police arrested Sanjay Gupta, associate vice-president of Hero Corporate Services Ltd, on Sunday for allegedly investing R250 crore — money that belonged to various companies of the Hero group — in exchange for a commission of R20 crore.