New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued orders attaching assets worth about Rs 20 crore in connection with its money laundering probe in the Citibank Gurgaon fraud scam.
The attachment orders, freezing two bank accounts of relatives of main accused in the case Shivraj Puri and two properties of two another of his associates, had been issued by the agency recently, sources privy to the development said.
Several depositors and high-networth individuals (HNIs) were duped in the Rs 460.91-crore alleged fraud engineered by Puri-- a Global Wealth Manager of the bank and was working at its Gurgaon branch.
The ED attachment order ensures that the accused are not able to use or derive any benefit out of these properties as they are termed as "proceeds of crime".
The accused can challenge the order at the Adjudicating Authority of the anti-money laundering law based in the national capital. The ED had registered a Prevention of Money Laundering
(PMLA) offence in this case last year.
The Haryana police had earlier this year filed a charge sheet against the fraud accused and capital market regulator SEBI too probed the matter as the fraud money was invested in the stock market.
As per a SEBI report, Puri had allegedly taken an exposure of Rs 1.13 lakh crore in the equity market using Rs. 236 crore of 51 high networth individuals and corporates and lost everything following decline in stock markets.
The government had earlier said the fraud in the Gurgaon branch of the bank had been going on since September 2009 but major transactions only took place between May 2010 and November 2010.