The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday Night arrested Shyam Sunder Wadhwa, believed to be a close aide of fugitive diamond baron Nirav Modi. Wadhwa was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), with regards to a money laundering probe into the Rs 12,000 crore PNB fraud. Wadhwa is the vice-president of Firestar group.
As per reports, officials have claimed that Wadhwa has been in close touch with Nirav Modi and has also allegedly laundered money at his behest. It is being claimed that Wadhwa might be a key figure in “unravelling the truth behind the scam”. Wadhwa has previously been accused of misleading the agencies during interrogation, which led to his arrest.
Wadhwa has been accused of making fraudulent transactions Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International which are owned by Nirav Modi. Wadhwa also supposedly made a certain Kartik Doshi the shareholder of Hong Kong-based Sino Traders, which had allegedly received about Rs 468 crores crore generated via the fraudulent issue of Letters of Undertakings (LoUs).
This arrest of Nirav Modi’s aide comes just a few days after the ED searched his Samudra Mahal properties, worth 15.45 crore and 81 crores respectively. This search resulted in the ED laying its hands on several paintings, antique jewellery and expensive watches. These include recovering a Rs 1.40 crore watch and Rs 10 crore ring. These properties were already attached by the ED in February. Following the searches, the total assets of Nirav Modi attached stand at 7664 crores.
Two FIRs relating to money laundering have been filed against Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi for probing this matter. In total, the ED has conducted about 251 raids across India after starting the criminal proceedings.