New Delhi, Feb 26: After seizing Punjab National Bank Scam accused Nirav Modi’s assets of Rs 6,393 crore, a special court on Monday allowed the Enforcement Directorate to issue letters Retogatory for the seizure of assets of beleaguered diamantaire in six countries. Letters Rogatory are a request from a court of a sovereign nation to a court of another sovereign nation. Also Read - ED Brings Back Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s Jewellery Worth Rs 1,350 Crore From Hong Kong to India
The ED in its plea had said that it should be allowed to seize assets in Hongkong, USA, UK, UAE, South Africa and Singapore. “It is an application for issuance of LR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for recovery/seizure of proceeds of crime and collection of documents, evidence lying in Hongkong, USA, UK, UAE, South Africa and Singapore which are required in connection with the investigation,” the ED said. Also Read - PNB Scam: Nirav Modi Remanded in Custody by UK Court Until April 15
The ED added that Modi has been trading in rough and polished diamonds, private label jewellery manufacturing and sale in the name and style of ‘Nirav Modi’ and ‘Firestars’. Also Read - Yes Bank Crisis: Daughters of Founder Rana Kapoor Under Scanner
“He spread his business operations in various countries, including Hongkong, USA, UK, UAE, South Africa and Singapore. He had apparently got issued multiple high value Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) in favour of his firms/ companies from Punjab National bank which resulted in disbursement of funds as per the SWIFT messages sent by PNB,” the plea added.
The central probe agency said that Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksy siphoned off Rs 6,498 crore and laundered and amalgamated it in mainstream financial system to project it as untainted property.
Punjab National Bank, in a statement, had said that it was duped to the tune of Rs 11,300 crore by Nirav Modi by obtaining forged letter of undertakings in connivance with several bank employees. After registering a complaint on January 29, CBI arrested Vipul Ambani, president (finance) of Nirav Modi’s Fire Star Diamond, Kavita Mankikar (executive assistant and authorised signatory of three firms — Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond, Solar Exports).