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ED enters Citibank probe scene

india Updated: Jan 10, 2011 01:27 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Hindustan Times
Citibank fraud

The Enforcement directorate (ED) that has been in touch with Gurgaon Citibank officials for the past few days has now approached the city police department and sought a copy of the FIR filed in the Rs 400-crore fraud. Case to crack

Till date, two FIRs have been registered in the Citibank scam.

The first FIR has been filed against sacked Citibank relationship manager Shivraj Puri and another against Hero Corporate Services Limited’s sacked executive Sanjay Gupta on the basis of complaints filed by Citibank assistant vice-president Binu Somen on December 27 and January 2. The accused are in police custody.

The ED is trying to find out whether there was a bid to convert a large amount of black money into white by the tainted officials. Also, it is probing whether the slush money was invested in tax havens abroad through hawala route.

The ED might lodge a separate case of violation of foreign exchange rules or money laundering. The ED deals with foreign exchange violations and money laundering charges and can book the suspects under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The RBI is already in touch with Citibank and Gurgaon police officials and both the sides are exchanging documents.

A two-member SEBI team completed its investigation on Saturday and returned to Mumbai. It would submit its report with the top SEBI officials on Monday.

A large sum of money has been invested by 29 corporate entities as well as HNIs through prime accused Puri and co-accused Gupta.

The investment included Rs 97 crore (Hero Exports), Rs 25 crore (Satyam Auto), Rs 24 crore (Mayar Infratech) and Rs 13.75 crore (Hero Corporate Services) and others.

Rekha Munjal (Rs 5 crore), Sunil Kant (R3 crore), Anupam Bhasin (R0.30 crore) and Suresh Talwar (Rs 0.70 crore) were the HNIs who had invested in the scheme.