New Delhi, Feb 27: Billionaire diamond merchants, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have responded to the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate, saying them can’t return to the country as their passports have been revoked. After the response, the agency is set to move court to secure non-bailable warrants against the duo, who are prime accused in Rs 11, 400 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Sources told Indian Express that the ED issued three summons to Modi and Choksi for their appearance in person before the agency to face the probe launched against them under PMLA. They replied that they can’t since their passports were revoked by the Government of India.
The lawyer representing Choksi, Sanjay Abbot said that his client received a summon, but can’t honour it as he cannot travel due to the revocation of his passport.
Nirav Modi left the country on January 1, while his uncle Mehul Choksi left on January 4, ostensibly to evade the law. Modi is holed up in the United States.
The ED said that Modi had generated huge sum of Rs 6,498 crore by getting fraudulent Letters of Undertaking issued from Punjab National Bank.
“(This amount) had been siphoned off by the accused persons and thereby laundered, amalgamated in mainstream financial system to project the same as untainted property. Certain part of the said proceed of crime or property involved in money laundering is reasonably believed to be parked in requested states as above,” the ED application to the court, quoted by Indian Express, said.
The ED on Monday summoned Punjab National Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Sunil Mehta in connection with with the Rs 11,400 crore PNB scam. The agency also examined the state-owned bank’s Executive Director K V Brahmaji Rao to understanding how the alleged fraud was detected and other banking procedures. Mehta, officials said, will be asked similar questions when he meets ED officials this week. They said the two officials are not being examined as an accused.