Citibank fraudster in 7-day police custody

Citibank manager Shivraj Puri, the suspected mastermind behind an estimated Rs 300 crore fraud in which some investors were allegedly swindled, was on Thursday arrested and sent to police custody for a week.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010, 00:05 AM IST

Gurgaon: Citibank manager Shivraj Puri, the suspected mastermind behind an estimated Rs 300 crore fraud in which some investors were allegedly swindled, was on Thursday arrested and sent to police custody for a week.

After his arrest this morning, Puri, who is Citibank`s relationship manager in Gurgaon, was produced before a special court as other courts are on winter vacation, Gurgaon Police Commissioner SS Deswal said.

Desal said Duty Magistrate Raj Kumar Yadav remanded Puri in 7 days police custody.

He told reporters that the size of the fraud could be around Rs 300 crore.

The alleged fraud came to light on Tuesday when one of the bank`s clients mentioned to a senior manager a scheme floated by Puri promising high returns for investments.

Desal said 40 teams had been constituted to crack the case that involved alleged siphoning off funds taken as investments from high networth individuals into a personal account of Puri, who is the main suspect, and three of his accomplices.

He said Puri`s father Raghuraj Puri is said to be owning a brokerage firm Norway Martin through which diverted funds were invested in the stock market.

During the interrogation, the police would trace the money trail which were fraudulently collected from High Networth Individuals (HNIs) by promising unusually high returns of 18 percent, Deswal said.

The Police Commissioner said of the estimated Rs 300 crore amount allegedly swindled, Rs 200 crore belonged to corporates and Rs.100 crore to individuals.

Asked whether the Gurgaon police will seek the help of other agencies in the probe, he said "we are qualified and competent to investigate. In case it is needed, we will consider it."

Deswal said Citibank has already informed RBI and SEBI
about the fraud.

The Commissioner said from the interrogation of Puri
police hoped to get more clues.

PTI