The Enforcement Directorate (ED) yesterday attached various real estate properties belonging to Nirav Modi and the companies under him. The total worth of the properties is estimated to be around 523.72 crores.
The crackdown on immovable properties began after the government moved to the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to confiscate all the properties owned by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) also seems to have moved the NCLT for attachment of assets belonging to Nirav Modi’s wife and brother.
All these properties include a farmhouse in Alibaug, a solar power plant, 135 acres of land in Ahmed Nagar and residential and office buildings in Mumbai and Pune:
ED attaches 21 immovable properties worth Rs 523.72 crore under PMLA of Nirav Modi & companies controlled by him. The attached assets include a farm house in Alibaug, Solar Power Plant, 135 Acre land in Ahmed Nagar, residential & office properties in Mumbai & Pune. pic.twitter.com/CSYaMzrkF1
— ED (@dir_ed) February 24, 2018
This property seizure comes after the ED had frozen Rs 30 crore in a bank account and seized shares worth 13.86 crores in a Nirav Modi company. They had also made an unusual discovery where they found a huge quantity of imported watches stacked in 176 steel almirahs, 158 corrugated boxes & 60 plastic containers.
Besides this luxury cars belonging to Nirav Modi and his companies too were seized. Mutual funds worth 7.8 crores of Nirav Modi and 86.72 crores of Mehul Choksi group were also frozen by the ED.
All this also comes after the multiple raids conducted by ED last week where they had seized gold, diamonds and gems worth a total of Rs 5649 crores from several locations across the country on 15th and 16th February. On the next day, they had attached diamonds and jewellery worth Rs 25 crores from various locations in India taking the tally up to 5674 crores.
ED conducted further searches at 21 locations across India in Nirav Modi case & seized diamonds, gold, precious stones/ metals & jewellery worth Rs 25 crore (Book Value). Total seizure till now is Rs 5674 Crore.
— ED (@dir_ed) February 17, 2018
The Income Tax department had on Thursday had also attached an SEZ property belonging to the Gitanjali Group in Hyderabad. The property was valued at 1200 crores. The cumulative credit balance in the bank accounts of the Gitanjali Group was estimated at 145.74 crores
The attachments of valuables and properties including cash and stocks of both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups, as per rough calculations stands at more than Rs 7500 crores, excluding the value of cars and other luxury goods.
However certain experts have cast doubts on the real value of the diamonds seized, claiming Nirav Modi’s diamonds and jewellery were always overpriced and even low grade in some cases and the ED’s estimate is based on the invoices and tag value mentioned for the items.
The CBI had already arrested several people in connections to the 11,400 crores PNB Fraud including Nirav Modi’s key aides. The Ministry of External Affairs had issued summons to both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi while suspending their passports for four weeks. The lookout for both Nirav Modi and Choksi is still on.