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Published On: Thu, Feb 15th, 2018

PNB fraud: ED searches Nirav Modi’s residence, 11 other locations

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Nirav Modi1-U205730966664XD--621x414@LiveMintNEW DELHI/ MUMBAI:  The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted searches on the premises linked to billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi in three States, in connection with the Rs.11,500-crore fraudulent transactions in Punjab National Bank.

The searches are being carried out at 10 locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Surat. The premises of a senior bank official is also being searched.Nirav Modi left the country on January 1, 2018 while is wife, an American citizen, left the country on January 6. Mehul Choksi left country on January 4. His brother, also an accused, is a citizen of Belgium. CBI issued look-out circular against all accused on January 31, the day FIR was registered.

The Enforcement Directorate is conducting searches at the residences of Nirav Modi and 11 other locations in Mumbai and Delhi in connection with the Rs 2.8 billion fraud of Punjab National Bank (PNB) allegedly by Modi and others.

ED on Wednesday registered an enforcement case investigation report under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of first information report (FIR) filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in January. Confirming the development, an ED official said that search operation is underway and would continue for two days.
Sources said the enforcement agency is looking at whether the alleged fraud amount was laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets overseas. The CBI had booked Modi, his brother, wife, and a business partner for alleged fraud in January and searched Modi and all respective parties named in the FIR. On Monday again the bank filed two fresh complaints with the CBI.

PNB Managing Director  Sunil Mehta said that the Rs 11,360 crore first started in 2011. He insisted that it was a “standalone incident in a single branch.” “The fraud was detected in the third week of January and a case was filed with CBI on January 30,” he said.

Meanwhile, the absconding prime accused in the case, Nirav Modi, has said that he is ready to pay back the loans to the tune of Rs 5000 crore. On the other hand, the Finance Minister has sought a status report from the Enforcement Directorate, sources told

The jewellery designer is said to be in Switzerland but MHA is saying they cannot confirm if he has left the country. Two PNB bank officials, retired deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty and SWO Manoj Hanumant Kharat, were the first to be detected as working with Nirav Modi. The duo has been named in the FIR.

About 10 more employees of the national bank have also come under the scanner of the enforcement directorate. State-run PNB said on Wednesday it had detected some “fraudulent and un authorised” transactions worth about $1.77 billion (Rs 11,360 crore approx) at one of its branches in Mumbai.

(With Agency Inputs).

 

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