New Delhi, February 15: Diamond merchant Nirav Modi left the country even before a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by the Punjab National Bank in the Rs 280 crore cheating case, report said. This comes even as raids are being carried out by the Enforcement Directorate at 12 premises of Modi across the country, including New Delhi.
According to sources in Ministry of Home Affairs, there is no information yet on whether Modi has left India. It is in ED’s domain and immigration authorities will check, report said.
The ED registered a money laundering case in connection with the Rs 280-crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) allegedly by Modi and others, on the basis of a FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On Wednesday (February 14), the Central Bureau of Investigation had received two fresh complaints from PNB against Modi and a jewellery company alleging fraudulent transactions worth about Rs 11,400 crore.
A case has been filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR filed early this month. It is understood that the ED also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Modi and others.
The agency, they said, would probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.
The CBI had booked Modi, his brother, wife and a business partner for allegedly cheating PNB of over Rs 280.70 crore in 2017.
It had also raided the residence of Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and Mehul Chinubhai 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. (Also Read: Mallya Loses Court Battle Linked to Kingfisher Airlines, Asked to Pay Rs 579 Crore)
The bank had also alleged in the complaint that a fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertakings (LOU) took place on January 16, 2018 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 bank had also intimated stock exchange BSE about the “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth over USD 1771.69 million in one of its branches in Mumbai.
With inputs from PTI