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ED raids Nirav Modi’s properties after PNB fraud case

The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against diamantaire Nirav Modi and others on the basis of a CBI FIR.

business Updated: Feb 16, 2018 11:49 IST
Jayshree P Upadhyay
Jayshree P Upadhyay
Livemint, Mumbai
Nirav Modi‬,‪Punjab National Bank‬,‪Mumbai
The Punjab National Bank said in a regulatory filing that a Rs 11,400-crore fraud benefited “a few select account holders” and that it has reported the matter to law enforcement agencies.(Reuters File Photo)

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and conducted raids in a case of alleged bank fraud by Nirav Modi and his firms against the public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB ). The ED on Thursday morning conducted raids on 12 premises in the connection with the case, said an ED official.

“The raids have been conducted on the charges of money laundering and whether the firms have defrauded the bank,” said the ED official.

A spokesperson for ED confirmed the development. The raids have happened in two locations including Mumbai and Delhi at the office, premises of dweller Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems Ltd.

The premises raided by the ED in Mumbai include Modi’s residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi’s showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

Emails sent to the spokesperson of these firms were not immediately answered.

Later in the day, news agency PTI, quoting unnamed officials, reported that the ED had seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore during the searches. Six properties in Mumbai belonging to the jeweller were also sealed.

This action is based out of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case against Nirav Modi of the fraud amount of Rs 280 crore.

“The other two complaints which allege a fraud of Rs 11,400 crore are not yet a part of the PMLA case. These will supplemented in the Rs 280 crore case at a later stage,” said the ED official quoted earlier.

While the suspended PNB officials are also on the ED radar, whether their premised have been raided or not was not confirmed immediately.

This action by the enforcement agency come amidst the rumours that Modi has fled the country. However, a CBI official said that no lookout notice has been issued against him yet.

“No lookout notice for Modi yet since he has not been officially summoned for questioning. He has several offices globally and we are expecting cooperation when he is summoned. It is not to be assumed that he has fled the country like Vijay Mallya,” said a CBI official requesting on anonymity.

State-run PNB on Wednesday morning said that it has unearthed fraudulent transactions of around Rs11,400 crore in one of its branches in Mumbai and filed a complaint with the enforcement agencies on the fraud amid concern that the contagion could spread to other banks.

Shaswati Das contributed to this story.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 12:06 IST