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Indian Agency Attaches Jeweler Nirav Modi’s Assets Worth Rs 637 Crore in 5 Countries

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets of Nirav Modi and his family, including properties in New York, London and Mumbai, diamond jewelry, and five overseas bank accounts.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs. 637 crore of fugitive billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi and his family in India and four other countries as part of its crackdown in connection with the $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud case.

The assets attached by the ED include two immovable properties in New York, an apartment each in Mumbai and London, diamond-studded jewelry and five overseas bank balances in India, United Kingdom, and New York, as part of five separate orders that it issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, ANI reported.

The two properties seized in New York are worth $29.99 million (Rs. 216 crore). The other assets attached include bank balances with approximately Rs. 278 crore in them, and diamond-studded jewelry worth Rs. 22.69 crore brought back from Hong Kong to India.

The Mumbai apartment is owned by Modi’s sister Purvi and was bought in 2017, according to the Hindu. She paid Rs. 19.50 crore for the apartment through her Barclays Bank account in Singapore. The deed for the flat was reportedly signed by Modi’s brother Neeshal, who has the power of attorney.

The London apartment, also bought in 2017, is worth Rs. 56.97 crore. It was acquired in the name of Belvedere Holdings Group Limited which is managed by Trident Trust (Singapore) and was established by Monte Cristo Trust. Purvi is the beneficiary of the trust, the publication said, adding that the two New York apartments, both valued at Rs. 216 crore, belong to Modi and were bought by the Ithaca Trust.

Of all the bank accounts attached by the agency, the one in Singapore had a balance of Rs. 44 crore and was in the name of a British Virgin Islands-based firm, which is allegedly owned by Purvi and her husband Maiank Mehta.

With this and other earlier seizures, the agency has so far attached or seized properties worth Rs. 4,300 crore in the money laundering cases against Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the publication reported.

Through letters rogatory, the agency will now approach authorities in other countries, seeking their help in getting confirmation of the latest attachments. “We have already got the letters rogatory through a Mumbai special court,” a senior official told the Hindu.

There are only a few cases where Indian agencies have attached assets abroad in a criminal probe, PTI reported.

The ED had identified foreign assets belonging to Modi worth Rs. 4,000 crore and had initiated proceedings to attach them in the PNB fraud case.

Modi, the owner of Firestar Diamonds, and Choksi, the owner of Gitanjali Gems, are the main accused in the PNB case, and are wanted in India for alleged criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty, corruption, and money laundering.

While Modi’s whereabouts are not known, Choksi has taken up Antiguan citizenship. India is in touch with the Antiguan government to have him sent back to India.

Both Modi and Choksi deny any wrongdoing.

In June this year, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) issued a red notice against Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi and close associate Subhash Parab. Besides Modi, Nishal and Parab, 18 other people have been named in the charge sheet filed by CBI in a special court in Mumbai on May 14.

The case concerns fraudulent transactions worth around $2.2 billion allegedly conducted by the accused in collusion with bank officials in a Mumbai branch of Punjab National Bank. Nirav Modi and Choksi are the main accused in the case who allegedly illegally obtained Letters of Undertaking from the bank, which were cashed overseas from different banks.

In September, the Interpol also issued a red notice against Modi’s sister, Purvi Modi. Purvi and Neeshal are citizens of Belgium.

1 Comment

  1. Vikram Nair

    October 5, 2018 at 2:14 am

    How about arresting the bank officials who gave Nirav Modi all these loans? How much kick back did he get?

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