Mumbai, March 03: A special court judge in Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against fraudulent diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi in connection with Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. Also Read - Nirav Modi's Extradition Approved by UK Home Minister Ahead of Boris Johnson's India Visit
The warrants were issued by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court against the main accused Nirav Modi and his relative Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Gems. Also Read - Mehul Choksi Still A Citizen of Antigua, Unlikely To Return Before 2027
Nirav Modi’s lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal, said that the non-bailable warrant (NBW) will be challenged in the High Court. Also Read - Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail Awaits Nirav Modi, Keeps Special Cell Barrack Number 12 Ready
“We are considering to challenge the order in the High Court on behalf of Nirav Modi. But final decision shall be taken only upon seeing the order. We have not even been given a copy of the application that ED filed,” Vijay Aggarwal told ANI.
In a major development, the CBI on Saturday produced six accused before the special CBI court seeking police custody for Gokulanath Shetty and judicial custody the other five.
On February 28, it arrested an Internal Chief Auditor of the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The arrested Auditor M.K. Sharma was allegedly responsible for auditing the systems and practices of the PNB in Brady House Branch.
Earlier, the CBI had arrested five PNB officials in the case, including a General Manager (GM) rank officer of the PNB and Gokulnath Shetty, former deputy manager of PNB.
Apart from these arrests, India’s premier investigation agency has also arrested officials of Nirav Modi’ and Choksi’s companies.
On February 20, The CBI arrested five high profile accused: Vipul Ambani, president, finance, Firestar International Pvt Ltd.; Kavita Mankikar, executive assistant and authorised signatory of the three accused firms, Arjun Patil, senior executive, Firestar group; Kapil Khandelwal, CFO, Nakshatra group; and Niten Shahi, manager, Gitanjali.
The PNB scam is being termed as one the biggest bank frauds in India.
On February 27, the CBI said that the PNB has reported fresh scam of Rs. 1251 crore by Gitanjali Gems.
In a statement, the CBI said, “The PNB has informed us that further scam of Rs 1,251 crore has been detected with respect to Gitanjali Gems. The CBI is now probing Rs. 12,636 crore in the PNB scam, up from Rs 11,421 crore.”
On February 28, Nirav Modi refused to join the CBI probe in connection with multi-crore PNB fraud case.