In a major development, fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s sister and her husband have decided to turn approver in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
According to the reports, Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Maiank Mehta have filed an application before the Special PMLA Court in Mumbai asking the court to seek pardon under Section 306 and 307 of the CrPC.
The two have now decided to turn approver and is expected to assist in the confiscation of two flats in New York, one each in London and Mumbai, bank balances in two Swiss Bank accounts and also another bank account in Mumbai.
Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi & her husband Mayank Mehta turn approver for assisting in confiscation of 2 flats in New York, 1 each in London & Mumbai, balances in 2 Swiss Bank accounts & a bank account in Mumbai totalling to Rs 579 cr in bank Fraud case: ED pic.twitter.com/O2TDVe59Kl— ANI (@ANI) January 7, 2021
Purvi Mehta, a Belgian national, is an accused in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate, while Nirav Modi is the prime accused in a $2 billion bank fraud case at state-owned PNB.
Justice VC Barde, the Special Judge for cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has accepted their application on Monday. The “position of the accused (Purvi Modi) in this case after tender of pardon is that she shall be marked as approver”, the court said in its order.
“The accused staying abroad presently shall be directed to present herself before the court, for which purpose the prosecution shall take necessary steps,” the order said.
The husband-wife duo promises to make full disclosures and provide evidence
The husband-wife duo has also submitted an undertaking to make true and full disclosure of the circumstances and events without concealing any evidence and to provide complete documents. Purvi Modi has agreed to assist in realising and repatriating various assets in India and abroad totalling worth Rs. 579 crores to the government.
The approvers have categorically stated that all the companies, properties and accounts mentioned in the prosecution complaints, except Pavillion Point Corporation belong to Nirav Modi. She gave her willingness to offer all cooperation to repatriate the assets to India.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the multi-crore PNB scam case, had filed submissions before the Special PMLA court against Purvi Modi, Maiank Mehta and others in the bank fraud case. The investigation under PMLA had revealed that Purvi Modi has a dozen bank accounts and ownership of various companies/trusts abroad.
Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the $2 billion USD PNB scam
Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam. He had fled India after the PNB scam was brought to the light. He had left the country and fled just when PNB had reported a massive 11,300 crore loan fraud by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
After evading detection for over a year, he was finally arrested in London on March 20 last year. He had been living in an ultra-luxury apartment in West London. His bail petitions have been repeatedly denied and he has been in a UK jail since.
The other main accused Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi’s uncle, has taken up the citizenship of Antigua and has been living there. The Indian government is trying for his extradition too. Both Nirav Modi and Choksi’s properties, houses, luxury items and business premises, worth thousands of crores, have been attached by the ED in India.
In June, the ED had recovered several consignments of diamond and luxury pearl jewellery of the duo in Hong Kong and had brought back over 108 consignments of various entities, totalling over Rs 1300 crores.