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ED files supplementary chargesheet: Nirav Modi’s sister helped divert Rs 1201 crores through shell firms

The charge sheet which was filed on March 8 claims that Mehta was a director in Dubai and Hong Kong-based companies which received funds through LoUs by Nirav Modi.

Along with Nirav Modi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started an investigation against his sister, Purvi Modi. As per a report in Hindustan Times, in a supplementary charge sheet filed before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, the ED has claimed that Rs 1,201.18 crore was diverted with the active participation of Purvi, Nirav Modi’s sister.

The charge sheet which was filed on March 8 claims that Mehta was a director in Dubai and Hong Kong-based companies which received funds through LoUs by Nirav Modi.

The ED, in the charge sheet say, “The proceeds of crime generated through fraudulent acts have been syphoned off and laundered to various overseas companies and countries for concealment, layering and integration into main financial system through acquisition of properties or through investment in financial assets and layering through various accounts in different countries, with the active partaking by Purvi.”

However, in her reply before the court hearing of the plea filed by ED for the confiscation of Nirav Modi’s properties, Purvi maintained she had nothing to do with the alleged proceeds of the crime.

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Meanwhile, the agency had attached her savings account with the syndicate bank which had a balance of Rs 1.96 crore.

Mehta was listed as a director in a shell company floated by the fugitive, Nirav Modi, called Lili Mountain Investment Company based in the British Virgin Islands which he used to transfer Rs 343.02 crore between March 2013 and March 2014.

Moreover, Mehta is also the owner/director of the Dubai-based Fine Classic FZE, which had, in a separate transaction, transferred Rs 446.12 crore to Firestar Holding Ltd in Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Firestar International Pvt Ltd. For this transaction, Firestar issued preference shares to Fine Classic FZE and later transferred that amount to Mehta seemingly as the redemption of those shares.

Additionally, Purvi is listed as a beneficial owner of Singapore-based Novelar Investments Private Ltd and Islington International Holdings Pvt Ltd.

She is also a settler of The Ithaca Trust, which Nirav Modi used to buy at least two properties in New York within a month of leaving India in early 2018.

On May 24 2018, a charge sheet including 24 accused, namely, Nirav Modi, his father, brother Neeshal Modi, sister Purvi Modi, brother-in-law Mayank Mehta and firms M/s Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamonds R Us, was filed in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case stating that over Rs 6,400 crore of bank funds were allegedly laundered abroad to dummy companies.

In fact, investigators had revealed that Purvi, a Belgian citizen, was the point person handling Nirav’s money. She was the third in the family to have Red Corner Notice against her. Interpol’s Loyn office had in September, last year, on the request of the ED, issued a Red Corner Notice against absconding diamond businessman Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi in connection with the Punjab National Bank scam.

Since the fraud came to light, the agencies have been in relentless pursuit to extradite the fugitive Nirav Modi, back to India.

In the latest Nirav Modi has been arrested in London and sent to judicial custody until March 29, meanwhile, the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai has given its approval to the Income-tax department to auction 68 paintings and 11 luxury cars owned by the absconding billionaire Nirav Modi in a bid to recover its dues.

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