ALSO READNirav Modi: ED seizes diamond, gold jewellery worth Rs 5100 crore in searches ED, CBI turn up heat on Nirav Modi; jewellery worth Rs 5100 Cr seized ED raids in Nirav Modi-PNB Rs 280 cr fraud PMLA case PNB shares reeling, but other Indian banks stabilise after giant fraud shock PNB scam: ED raids diamond trader Nirav Modi
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted searches in multiple properties linked to billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi in Mumbai, Delhi and few other cities and seized diamonds, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore, agency officials said. The raids came after the ED filed a money laundering case of alleged fraud of Rs 280-crore against Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and business partner Mehul Choksi and others yesterday, following a complaint by Punjab National Bank (PNB). "The ED searched 17 premises across India of Nirav Modi and Geetanjali Gems in a case related to fraud in PNB. Stocks of gold, diamond and precious stones worth Rs 5,100 crore were seized," the central probe agency said in a statement. Sources said that the cost of the precious items seized by the agency from the showrooms and workshops was based on the "stock value".
Fixed deposits valued at Rs 3.9 crore have also been seized, they said. Five properties in Mumbai were put under "prohibitory orders" by the agency and the raids are expected to continue till tomorrow, the sources said. The ED has also moved the Ministry of External Affairs with a plea to revoke the passport of Modi and his partner and relative Choksi, they said. The agency has now enlarged its probe into the case and apart from the FIR, the sources said it will now look into the entire charge of PNB being defrauded Rs 11,400 crore after the bank sent a complaint to it. The complaint was shared with the CBI yesterday, they said. Agency sleuths swooped down on multiple showrooms, workshops, residences and offices linked to Nirav Modi and Choksi since early this morning. They searched Modi's residence in Kurla, jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company offices in Bandra and Lower Parel in Mumbai, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi. Raids were also conducted in Jaipur and Hyderabad, they said. The agency has also written to the Income Tax Department to share all documents it seized when it raided Modi, Choksi and others in January last year on charges of alleged tax evasion. The ED filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month. The agency is probing if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money. Modi (46), a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with his wife and brother, besides business partner Choksi on January 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run PNB to the tune of Rs 280 crore. The bank has sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, saying the scam was worth more than Rs 11,400 crore. The CBI had earlier raided the residences of Modi, his brother, wife and Choksi, all partners of Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds and two bank officials -- Gokulnath Shetty (now retired) and Manoj Kharat, who were also named in the FIR as accused. "The public servants committed abuse of official position to cause pecuniary advantage to Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and a wrongful loss of Rs 280.70 crore to Punjab National Bank during 2017," the CBI FIR has alleged. The bank had also alleged in the complaint that a fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LOU) took place on January 16 this year for and on behalf of the accused firms, which approached the bank and presented a set of import documents to the branch with a request to allow buyers credit for making payment to overseas suppliers. The diamantaire is an India citizen but his brother and wife are not Indian nationals. They all have left India between January 1 and 6, the CBI said.
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