New Delhi, Feb 15: Assuring strong action against celebrity diamond trader Nirav Modi in an alleged multi-crore fraud case, the Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Thursday said that wrongdoers won’t go unpunished.

Addressing a press conference, Punjab National Bank (PNB) MD Sunil Mehta said the bank has initiated action against all those, including its staff, in the fraud case. Mehta said Nirav Modi, who owns multiple high-end jewellery showrooms in Mumbai, New Delhi and foreign locations, had left India on January 1 nearly a month before the Central Bureau of Investigation was approached with a complaint against him. (Also Read:  Hug PM Modi, Attend Event With Him is Nirav Modi’s Guide to Loot India, Says Rahul Gandhi)

“It started in 2011, we detected it in the third week of January, 2018 and we promptly investigated it for 3-4 days, we went to CBI on January 29 and FIR was booked on January 30. Lookout notice has also been issued against Nirav Modi,” PNB MD, Sunil Mehta,  said.

“We detected the fraud on January 3. We got to know that two of our employees did some unauthorised transactions. The bank intiated criminal action against our staff members. PNB has capability and capacity to come out of this. In response to our registered FIR, raids are being conducted on involved groups’ establishments; documents and records are being seized. Steps are being taken to protect financial interest of banks,” he added.

Raids on Nirav Modi

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted multiple searches in connection with a Rs 280 crore money laundering case against billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi and others following a complaint by Punjab National Bank.

Official sources said the agency sleuths swooped down on at least ten premises of entities involved in the case early morning.

The premises raided by the ED here include Modis residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modis showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

The ED had filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month.

High-profile diamond merchat Nirav Modi. (File Photo)
High-profile diamond merchat Nirav Modi. (File Photo)

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.  The CBI had on Wednesday (February 14) received two fresh complaints from PNB allegedly against Modi and a jewellery company alleging fraudulent transactions worth about Rs 11,400 crore.