Swiss accounts of Nirav Modi frozen
Four Swiss bank accounts of diamantaire Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2-billion PNB fraud case, and his sister have been “frozen” by authorities in Switzerland as part of the criminal money laundering probe being conducted against them in India, official sources said.
They said the accounts, at present, have deposits totalling ~ 283.16 crore and they have been frozen on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after it informed Swiss authorities that the money kept in them are “proceeds of crime” of a bank fraud perpetrated by the duo.
The ED, official sources said, made the request to the Swiss authorities sometime back and had also sent an official request under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It is not immediately known in which bank these accounts are held. A provisional order for attachment of these four accounts, and one more in the name of a company controlled by Nirav Modi, was issued by the probe agency in Mumbai in September last year. The five overseas accounts then had ~ 278 crore in deposits. Official sources said while the accounts of Nirav Modi, under arrest in this case in London, have deposits of USD 3,74,11,596, the accounts in the name of his sister Purvi Modi has deposits of GBP 27,38,136.
Nirav Modi was on Thursday further remanded to judicial custody until July 25. Judge Jonathan Radway presided over the short remand hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via videolink from Wandsworth prison and re-confirmed July 29 as the date for the next case management hearing in the 48-year-old diamond merchant’s extradition proceedings sought in the PNB fraud case.
The legal team for Modi, led by barrister Jessica Jones, brought to the judge’s attention an issue related to the nearly 5,000-page set of documentation submitted by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government.
They sought the court’s intervention in sanctioning easier access of the paperwork for Modi to be able to read through and give suitable instructions, including a request for the documents to be uploaded onto an internet-free laptop.