New Delhi, Feb 17: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday made the first arrest in the Nirav Modi-PNB fraud case. The CBI has arrested Punjab National Bank’s former deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty and Manoj Kharat, SWO (single window operator) over Nirav Modi’s fraudulent transactions of over Rs 11,400 crore. (Also Read: The ‘Diamond King’ Was Planning to Sneak Out Since 2016) Also Read - PNB Fraud Case: Nirav Modi Extradition Trial Resumes in UK Court
The investigation agency has also arrested Hemant Bhat, Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms. Nirav Modi is accused of triggering Rs 11,300 crore fraud on Punjab National Bank. They will be produced today before CBI special court in Mumbai, news agency ANI reported. The raids are underway at a Gitanjali Gems store in Durgapur, West Bengal. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized property worth Rs 3 crore on the third day of raids in Nirav Modi-PNB fraud case. (Also Read: CBI Seeks Interpol Help to Nab Nirav Modi, IT Department Attaches 21 Bank Accounts) Also Read - PNB Money Laundering Case: Interpol Issues 'Red Corner Notice' to Arrest Nirav Modi's Wife Ami Modi
Earlier in the day, it was reported that Nirav Modi and his family is holed up in a luxurious hotel suite in New York. On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar informed that Nirav Modi will not be able to travel to any country as his passport has been suspended.
The MEA has also suspended passports of his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi saying that it would revoke the passports if it did not hear from them in the next seven days. “He will have to stay in whichever country he is living in right now,” news agency ANI quoted the MEA official as saying. “I can say with confidence that this gentleman is not in touch with any of our officials and frankly at this stage, we are not aware about his location,” he said. (Also Read: Most of Nirav Modi’s Fraud LoUs Issued, Renewed in 2017-18, Says CBI)
On Friday, the ED continued searches and raids at various properties of Nirav Modi. The central probe agency searched 35 locations across India and seized stocks of gold, diamond and precious stones worth Rs 549 crore. A day before, it had seized assets worth Rs 5100 crore. It also directed Nirav Modi’s head office that no sale or purchase should happen in showrooms in New York, London, Macau and Beijing.