A Delhi-based firm, OKS Span, has sent a legal notice to Citibank for recovery of Rs 2 crore that it had invested in a fake scheme floated by scam mastermind Shivraj Puri.
Sources in the police said Puri kept on sending emails to the firm even after the relationship manager was sacked from the bank and was absconding.
Filed through a lawyer, SN Mehrotra, the notice stated, in last May, Puri had informed CB Sharma of OKS Span that the bank had given shape to a short-term deposit plan with very high returns.
Puri informed Sharma that the amount deposited under this plan would be invested further in Vanilla Foreign Institutions Investors’ Deposit Scheme, being launched by Citibank Foreign Institutions Investment arm.
Puri had told Sharma that the money would be deposited in Citibank custodian account in the name of Premnath and would carry a monthly interest of 1.25%. “Following his assurances, the company made a deposit of R2 crore initially for a period June 30-July 30, 2010. On maturity, Citibank issued a DD for the interest amount of R2.5 lakh,” said the lawyer.
Lured by the high interest rates and monthly profit of R2.5 lakh, the company reinvested R2 crore back in the scheme for the following months till December 2010 and started receiving monthly returns of R2.5 lakh till November.
“In mid-December, Puri made a call to Sharma and told him that the special scheme had been withdrawn and there would be no further renewal of the amount. On December 16, Puri sent an email, saying that he would be meeting him on December 20 to return the principal amount, which was originally due on December 30,” the notice said.
However, on December 19, Puri sent an email to Sharma promising to meet him again on further dates but he never turned up and finally he was out of contact.
On January 3, 2011, Sharma visited the bank branch and met officials who promised him that his money would be returned. But this did not happen.
However, bank sources said it was the bank that had informed victims of the fraud about Puri’s misdeeds and the bank also was a victim of his machinations.
According to police sources, senior Puri had an active role in the R300-crore scam, as eight of the 81 seized accounts are in his company’s name. “His arrest is crucial for the investigation,” said an investigating official.