New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday attached various assets and valuables (cut and polished diamonds) worth Rs 218.46 crore belonging to Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Mihir Bhansali and others in connection with PNB scam. (Also read: CBI Seeks Extradition of Nirav Modi’s Brother) Also Read - PNB Scam: Nirav Modi Remanded in Custody by UK Court Until April 15
Earlier this month, the agency had said it had attached assets worth Rs 637 crore of Modi and his family, including two apartments in New York’s iconic central park, as part of its fresh action in the USD 2 billion alleged bank fraud in the PNB. The agency said it had issued as many as five provisional orders, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for attachment of assets in London, New York, bank balances in Singapore and other countries, a flat in Mumbai and diamond studded jewellery that was shipped to India from Singapore. Also Read - Yes Bank Crisis: Daughters of Founder Rana Kapoor Under Scanner
It said investigators had got multiple court issued Letters Rogatories (judicial requests) for legal formalisation of these assets and the action has come to fruition after three months of “close coordination” between the Enforcement Directorate and its foreign counterparts. Also Read - Yes Bank: Co-founder Rana Kapoor Booked in Money Laundering Case, Raid at Worli Residence
The development comes close on the heels of the ED telling the Interpol that Choksi would have to come to India if he wanted to know about the cases and allegations that had been filed against him. The ED’s statement followed Choksi’s letter to Interpol demanding to know the cases and allegations against him. Responding to Choksi’s requests, Interpol wrote to ED seeking permission to share the prosecution complaint against the accused.
In July, reports had revealed that Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s assets seized by the investigation agencies valued less than half of what the ED officials had estimated. An ED official told NDTV that the actual value of assets seized from Modi and Choksi was Rs 3,500 crore while it was estimated to be Rs 7,800 crore. Considering the actual value of the assets, the ED had written to the customs department to start proceedings against Modi and Choksi for overvaluing the low-quality goods. The ED’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had filed a case against the duo for selling goods at higher prices.
The differences were reported after two former employees of Modi’s jewellery chain revealed that the diamond czar used to sell its goods at a much higher price. They said that the value, written in the company books, could be exaggerated and the real value could turn out to be much less than what has been estimated so far.