New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Tuesday seized as many as 11 properties in Dubai belonging to fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his group Company Firestar Diamond FZE in connection with the multi-million dollar alleged fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The market value of the properties seized is USD 7.795 million which is equivalent to Rs 56.8 crore, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Modi, a prime accused in the multi-crore PNB scam had filed an application before a special court opposing the ED’s complaint to have him declared a “fugitive economic offender” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).
Modi filed 10 applications before the PMLA court of judge MS Azmi, but his prime argument was that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) complaint had not been filed in accordance with the law and, thus, must not be considered valid by the court.
Earlier, the ED had attached valuables worth Rs 255 crore belonging to Nirav Modi in Hong Kong. With this, the total attachment in the PNB scam case stands at Rs 4,744 crore. The agency said it had issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of these assets. (Also read: CBI Seeks Extradition of Nirav Modi’s Brother)
“The said valuables were exported through 26 shipments by Dubai-based companies of Nirav Modi to the Hong Kong-based companies controlled by him after the registration of the case (PNB money laundering) in India,” it said. These valuables, diamonds, and jewelry were lying in a logistics company vault in Hong Kong, the agency said.
Nirav, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light this year following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated it to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.