PNB Fraud Case: ED freezes Nirav Modi's bank deposits and shares worth Rs 44 cr, huge collection of imported watches

24 February 2018, 11:57 AM
File Photo
File Photo

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized Nirav Modi’s bank deposits and shares worth Rs 44 cr, and a huge collection of imported watches from several locations connected to diamond czar Nirav Modi contend that the watches might have been imported for “business purpose”.

The watches was were seized from the 60 plastic containers from different locations connected to the diamond czar during the searches carried out in the last few days in connection with an ongoing probe in the Rs. 11,300 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

“As he used to deal in designer jewellery, the watches too have been imported for the designer watch collection,” said an ED official privy to the investigation.

“However, the purpose of imported watches would be clear after sometime as it might have been imported for gifting purpose also,” he said. Last Week, the ED also seized 176 steel almirahs and 158 boxes linked to Modi.

Also Read: PNB Scam: I will face my destiny, I have done nothing wrong, truth shall prevail says Mehul Choksi

Beside the imported watches and other items, the financial probe agency has also frozen diamond trader’s bank account and shares worth Rs. 43 crore.The bank account which was seized by the ED had a balance of Rs. 30 crore, while the shares were valued at Rs. 13.86 crore.

Nirav Modi, a regular on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with wife, brother and business partner and Choksi on January 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 280 crore.

The bank again approached the CBI within a fortnight of the first complaint giving details of more transactions which were over Rs 11,400 crore.

The question as to why the PNB did not send a complaint to the CBI and decided to give it in tranches is also under the scanner of the agency, they said.

An LoU is a letter of comfort issued by one bank to branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.

The bank has claimed in three complaints to the CBI that so far it has detected 150 LoUs which were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Nirav Modi and the other accused in the case, the officials said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is also probing the case.

With PTI Input

First Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 11:46 AM
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