The Modi Government has persistently been after fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi ever since he fled India after the PNB bank fraud of Rs 13,000 crores unearthed. In another significant development, Nirav Modi’s four Swiss accounts have been frozen by Swiss authorities following the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the PMLA act.
#Exclusive | Nirav Modi’s 4 Swiss accounts frozen by Swiss authorities. 2 accounts belong to Nirav Modi, and other 2 belong to his sister Purvi Modi. The accounts are reportedly having $6 million funds in total. | @bhavatoshsingh with details. | #NiravCashChoked pic.twitter.com/4n2CZiENU5
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 27, 2019
The ED had appealed to the Government of Switzerland four months ago to freeze Nirav Modi’s accounts after it traced the transfer of Rs 286 crore from Punjab National Bank (PNB) to Swiss Bank.
Two accounts belong to Nirav Modi, and the other two belong to his sister Purvi Modi. The accounts are reportedly having deposit balances of US $ 3,74,11,596 and GBP27,38,136 (Rs 283.16 crore).
The ED informed that they are in the process of attaching other foreign assets of the fugitive diamantaire who is believed to have at least 80-85 shell companies and around 200 bank accounts, which could be in Switzerland as well as in British Virgin island and also in Cayman Island.
Moreover, based on a similar request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Belgian authorities had also frozen two bank accounts of Nirav Modi companies last year.
As per reports, the investigating agencies until last year had been able to freeze assets worth over Rs 7,670 crore in the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi case which includes valuables worth over Rs 5,734 crore.
The ED itself has carried out searches in over 255 premises across the country and Rs 71 crore in his bank accounts has also been frozen. “Shares of Gitanjali Gems Limited worth Rs 101 crore and investments by Nirav Modi worth Rs 23 crores have also been frozen,” they confirmed.
Nirav Modi is set to appear for remand hearing today in London. He is currently lodged in UK jail after being arrested in March. So far he has tried to get bail four times, but have been unsuccessful in each of them.
On March 22, 2019, the ED had filed supplementary charge sheet against Nirav Modi’s sister, Purvi Modi, alleging that she helped the fugitive to divert Rs 1201 crores through shell firms. In the 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.
Moreover, the agency had also attached her savings account with the syndicate bank which had a balance of Rs 1.96 crore.
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 a relentless pursuit to extradite the fugitive Nirav Modi, back to India.