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PNB fraud: ED to trace assets of Nirav, Choksi from over dozen countries

The countries where the LRs would be sent include Belgium, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore and South Africa

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai/New Delhi 

Photo: Facebook

Widening its probe into the fraud case, the will soon send judicial requests to over a dozen countries for obtaining information about the overseas businesses and assets of diamantaire Nirav and owner of

Official sources said the agency will approach a competent court in with a request to obtain Letters Rogatories (LRs) to be sent to about 15-17 countries where the central investigation agency has traced the footsteps of the diamond and gold jewellery businesses of the firms owned by Modi, his uncle Choksi and others associated with them.

The countries where the LRs would be sent include Belgium, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Dubai, and

Some official requests on the basis of agency-to-agency exchange will also be sent to few countries, the sources said.

The attempt of sending these judicial requests for exchange of information is aimed at obtaining the details of the overseas financial holdings of and Choksi, who are accused in the Rs 114 billion loan fraud case, their accounts, assets, partnerships, showrooms, trusts and other assets, they said.

These assets and their sources of income will be investigated and if necessary would be attached under the criminal sections of the (PMLA) if it is found that they have been created using tainted funds or the proceeds of crime of the alleged fraud, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Modi, his wife Ami, and Choksi have been summoned by the (ED) to appear at its zonal office in tomorrow.

Sources indicated that if they skip the summons, the agency may approach a special to get non-bailable warrants against them.

The agency has also asked about 16 other banks, apart from the Punjab National Bank, to share with it the details of loans extended and collaterals offered in the case of Modi, Choksi and their companies.

It has also asked the RBI to share with it audit reports of the conducted by it since 2011.

The total assets seized by the ED, in this case, are now over Rs 63.93 billion, officials had said, adding that this was being independently valued.

Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by the and other probe agencies after the fraud recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB that they allegedly cheated the nationalised to the tune of Rs 114 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The CBI and the have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.

The ED, a central probe agency under the Union ministry, is investigating if the allegedly were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.

First Published: Mon, February 26 2018. 01:02 IST