The Enforcement Directorate has issued a summons for appearance to Nirav Modi and his business partner, Mehul Choksi, for their involvement in the Rs. 11,400 crore PNB fraud. The summons was issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the said persons have been asked to depose within a week’s time.
Meanwhile, the ED has raided several offices and showrooms of Nirav Modi and Choksi and recovered Rs. 5100 crore in gems, jewellery and gold. The case was registered against them after the Punjab National Bank had registered complaints with Law Enforcement authorities alleging fraud.
On January the 31st, CBI had booked Nirav Modi and others in a separate case of cheating worth Rs. 280 crore after a complaint by PNB. It is being probed whether the proceeds of the crime were converted into black money and used to create illegal assets. Mehul Choksi has been involved in shady dealings in the past. After an investigation by SEBI, Mehul Choksi and a set of firms were suspected of market manipulation and subsequently barred from trading for a period of six months.
Acting on the advice of the ED, the Ministry of External Affairs has suspended the passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi for four weeks with immediate effect. They have been asked to submit their replies within a week as to why their passports should not be revoked or impounded. The MEA shall go ahead with the revocation if the replies are not submitted within the stipulated time.