More skeletons tumble out as SEBI team grills Puri
A team of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) officials on Sunday interrogated suspended Citibank relations manager Shivraj Puri to find out how he had managed to carry on with the illegal high-value financial deals for 15 months without anybody's notice in the bank. Faizan Haider reports.delhi Updated: Jan 03, 2011 00:13 IST
A team of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) officials on Sunday interrogated suspended Citibank relations manager Shivraj Puri to find out how he had managed to carry on with the illegal high-value financial deals for 15 months without anybody's notice in the bank.
According to sources, the team was more concerned as to why did the bank fail to detect the scam in time.
“We are investigating the crime part of the case, while the SEBI wants to know the modus operandi to be cautious in future. They might issue fresh guidelines to banks after interrogating Puri,” said a source in the Gurgaon police who didn’t wish to be named.
The SEBI team is also probing whether there was a delay on the part of Citibank to report to the police or act on complaints against Puri.
“The regulatory body wants to know the route of the money and if any other staff of the bank were aware of the scheme. Since Puri had forged a letter of SEBI, he was also asked about the intention behind it,” sources said.
The SEBI team from Mumbai had arrived in Gurgaon on Saturday to assist the city police. In addition to SEBI, a five-member team from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also arrived on Saturday. They interacted with police and Citibank officials.
Shivraj Puri, the Citibank relationship manager, is accused of luring bank customers to invest money in his accounts to get higher interest. He was arrested on Friday and is in police custody since then. The police are scanning the transactions and believe a major chunk of the amount was parked with Religare and Bonanza brokerage firms. However, the money deposited was also transferred to brokerage companies Normans Martin, Okaya Power Limited, BG and India Infoline.
“Since the entire Citibank episode involved huge amounts of illegal money transfer from the accounts of Puri and his relatives into brokerage companies for buying equities and other financial instruments, the role of SEBI in the investigation is justified. Their presence will help us crack the mystery faster,” police commissioner SS Deswal said.