PNB fraud: Jewellery, paintings worth Rs 26 crore seized from Nirav Modi’s house
Antique jewellery worth Rs 15 crore, watches valued at Rs 1.4 crore and paintings of artists Amrita Sher-Gil, MF Hussain and KK Hebbar valued at Rs 10 crore have been seized under PMLA.india Updated: Mar 24, 2018 22:23 IST
A ring worth Rs 10 crore, a watch worth Rs 50 lakh and expensive paintings kept in a climate-controlled hall are some of the seizures made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a three-day long search at disgraced jeweller Nirav Modi’s plush Samudra Mahal residence in tony Worli.
The ED, as part of the property attachment procedures under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), had seized the flat. “The house is over 5,000 plus square feet overlooking the sea. Three flats have been made into one duplex,” said an ED officer privy to the investigation.
Fresh searches were undertaken in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The choicest of paintings by MF Hussain, Hebbar and Amrita Shergil were displayed in a hall. “The hall was made air tight as moisture in the air risked damaging the paintings,” said the officer.
The total seizure includes high-end and antique jewellery valued at Rs 15 crores, high end watches valued at Rs 1.40 crores and paintings costing approximately Rs 10 crores. “The jewellery contains designs of Mughal era,” said the officer. “The seizure includes diamond jewellery made in such a way that the strings do not appear,” said the officer.
The agency had sealed the flat but it was opened on Thursday to check the valuables. “Lot of the things seized were probably imported and it needs to be checked if they were declared,” said the officer.
Earlier, the agency had seized high-end cars, which include a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Mercedes Benz, a Porsche Panamera, three Honda variants, a Toyota Fortuner and an Innova.
Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after it recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB, that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 13,578 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs, each to probe the case. Both Modi and his uncle Mehul Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.
The total seizure and attachment of diamond, gold, precious and semi-precious stones and other movable and immovable assets in the case stand at Rs 7,664 crore.