New Delhi, May 29 : Tightening its noose around AgustaWestland deal's alleged middleman Rajiv Saxena, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has attached his properties to the tune of Rs 385 crore, including a villa in Palm Juberiah in Dubai, in connection with the VVIP chopper scam and Moser Baer bank fraud case. An ED official said that the financial probe agency issued separate attachments orders attaching assets to the tune of Rs 385.44 crore of Saxena under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Agusta Westland Chopper Scam and Moser Baer bank fraud case. He said the attached assets includes villa in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai worth 20 million AED and balances in five Swiss bank accounts amounting to USD 45.55 million of Saxena. Saxena was deported to India from UAE on January 1, 2019 for his involvement in the case of Agusta Westland Chopper Scam and was arrested under PMLA. The ED has initiated a probe involving Saxena on the basis of separate FIRs registered by CBI in AgustaWestland chopper scam and Moser Baer bank fraud case. He said in the chopper scam case, CBI registered a case under several sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against then Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi and others. He said the CBI registered a separate FIR against Moser Baer India Ltd. and its Directors including Ratul Puri, nephew of former Madhya Pradsh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, unknown public servants and unknown private persons under various sections in bank fraud case. The ED official said during the probe, it was found that Saxena was a hawala operator and accommodation entry provider, who runs the business in Dubai through numerous companies known as Matrix Group companies and has laundered proceeds of crime in the cases of AgustaWestland chopper scam and Moser Baer bank fraud case. The ED official claimed that Saxena created structures for laundering proceeds of crime generated by accused in both cases either for the kickbacks in AgustaWestland case or defrauding banks by misutilising the loans given to Moser Baer India Ltd and its subsidiaries. According to ED officials, Saxena managed the proceeds of crime and tainted funds of many high profile and high-net worth individuals. He further said that in AgustaWestland chopper case, a letter of request to Swiss Confederation was sent to restrain his Swiss bank accounts and ensure that Saxena did not transfer or dispose of the suspected proceeds of crime. "Saxena has admitted to laundering the proceeds of crime not only of AgustaWestland deal but also various other defence deals. The proceeds of crime have also been transferred to the personal accounts of Saxena and his wife Shivani Saxena, who is also an accused in the case," the official said. In the Moser Baer bank fraud case, proceeds of crime belonging to Deepak Puri, father of Ratul Puri amounting to USD 16.33 million have also been attached in the hands of Saxena, he said. The ED official said the accounts of Moser Baer India Ltd. was classified as a non-performing asset in the year 2014. "Investigation has revealed that the proceeds of crime generated by Deepak Puri out of bank fraud were received and kept by Saxena till 2018 through accounts maintained for Deepak Puri and also equity has been transferred from an undisclosed entity based in Bahamas," he said. The official said that from the analysis of digital evidences and accounts of Puri family maintained by Saxena, it was revealed that the amount of USD 16.33 million was proceeds of crime that was in his hands that belonged to Deepak Puri. The same amount was parked in the accounts of companies of Matrix Group, he said. /IANS
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