As per the ED officials, absconding diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi, Mihir Bhansali, a close aide and US-based executive of main accused in the case Nirav Modi, and a company named AP Gems and Jewellery Park are the beneficiaries whose assets have been put under scanner according to the three provisional orders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The orders were issued by the central investigative agency’s zonal office in Mumbai for attachment of the properties in India and abroad.
The total value of the attached and seized assets is Rs 218.46 crore, ED sources said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in what is being seen as another massive crackdown, had on October 1 attached multiple overseas assets of Nirav Modi.
According to reports, earlier real estate properties in New York City and London had been attached and jewellery worth Rs 22.69 crores has been brought back to India from Hong Kong. The ED has also reportedly seized foreign bank accounts of the absconding Diamond tycoon. The total worth of the immovable assets, jewellery and bank accounts are reported to be around Rs 637 crores.
Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the Indian financial sector was rocked by a startling revelation of a fraud this year following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB). According to the public sector bank, the fugitives had allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
The Enforcement Directorate in May had moved the special court in Mumbai requesting permission for ‘immediate confiscation’ of about 7000 crores worth assets of designer diamond jeweller Nirav Modi under the recently annunciated ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance’.
The ED had also then sought an official declaration to categorize Nirav Modi a ‘fugitive’ based on the charge sheet filed before a special court in Mumbai under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).