The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it has attached properties worth Rs 250 million (Rs 25 crore) of diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in connection with its ongoing probe into the Rs 135 billion (Rs 13,540 crore) PNB fraud case.
An ED official told IANS that the searches were carried out on Thursday at Nirav Modi's palatial residence 'Samudra Mahal' in Mumbai along with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team.
The official also said that the searches continued till Saturday morning and resulted in the seizure of antique jewellery worth Rs 150 million (Rs 15 crore), high-end watches valued at Rs 14 million (Rs 1.40 crore) and paintings worth Rs 100 million (10 crore) that includes artworks by M F Hussain, K K Hebbar, Amrita Shergil.
The ED also attached a diamond ring valued at Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore).
3-day-long searches were conducted by CBI & ED at residential premises of #Nirav Modi at Samudra Mahal in Mumbai's Worli, starting from Fri. Antique jewellery & paintings worth crores of rupees were recovered. Watch valued at Rs 1.40 cr & ring valued at Rs 10 cr were also seized pic.twitter.com/P6CnDt0aL7— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2018
The financial probe agency's action comes after it registered a separate case against the diamond jeweller and his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group for defrauding the banks to the tune of Rs 135 billion (Rs 13,540 crore).
Till date, the ED has carried out searches at over 251 properties across the country and seized diamond, gold, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls.
The ED has also attached immovable properties belonging to Nirav Modi Group and Mehul Choksi group to the tune of Rs 76.38 billion (Rs 7,638 crore).
Choksi, Nirav Modi and his family fled in January around a month before the PNB filed the first complaint against them about the fraud and they are still at large.