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PNB fraud: Nine luxury cars, property worth Rs100-crore seized in a day

The seized cars include a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Porsche Panamera, two Mercedes Benz, three Honda cars and one Toyota Fortuner and one Innova, said an ED official.

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2018 23:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,PNB fraud,cars
One of the seized cars.(HT)

The enforcement directorate (ED) on Thursday seized nine luxurious cars belonging to the Nirav Modi group and froze shares and mutual funds worth Rs94 crore of Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi group on Thursday in connection with the Rs11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud.

The seized cars include a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Porsche Panamera, two Mercedes Benz, three Honda cars and one Toyota Fortuner and one Innova, said an ED official. The cars were found during the searches and raids conducted by the ED across India in the past one week.

A senior ED official said, “During the search, the officials seized the Modi group’s mutual funds and shares worth Rs7.80 crore, and the Choksi group’s mutual funds and shares worth Rs86.72 crore. The total seized property of Modi and Choksi on Thursday is worth around Rs100 crore. The evaluation of several paintings found in Samudra Mahal premises in Worli, belonging to Modi, is going on.”

“We have found around 100 current accounts of the Nirav Modi group. Their scrutiny is on. We have asked the income tax (I-T) department to give us details of shell companies of the group. We are also looking at money laundering,” said senior ED official.

The business empire of Modi and Choksi in India and abroad came under the scanner after a PNB official approached the CBI, alleging a fraud estimated to be around Rs280 crore. The ED and I-T department have found 200 dummy and shell companies in India and abroad that were allegedly being used to transfer funds.

“The Rs11,400 crore was allegedly transferred to the Hong Kong branch of Axis and Allahabad bank. We are looking at the money trail,” said the official.

The CBI has so far arrested 12 accused, including Vipul Ambani, president of finance in one of the companies of Nirav Modi, in two FIRs lodged against Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. Among those arrested are general manager of Punjab National Bank Rajesh Jindal, who was holding charge of the Brady House branch in Mumbai from August 2009 to May 2011.

Ambani held a key position in Modi’s firm. He was being questioned by CBI sleuths for the past two days. He was arrested on Tuesday after investigators ascertained his role. CBI sources said the arrested accused allegedly indulged in the conspiracy at various levels to benefit Modi’s companies and make peculiar gains.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 23:35 IST