Mumbai: In connection with the Rs. 13,400 crore fraudulent transactions at state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB), The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached assets of worth over Rs. 170 crore of Nirav Modi. This action has been taken under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act and will have to be confirmed by the adjucating authority.
The assets attached by ED include four properties owned by Modi’s firm Firestar International Pvt. Ltd. and Paundra Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai and Surat worth Rs. 72 crore. The HCL House in Andheri, Mumbai is the most expensive property out of these which is priced at a fair market value of around Rs. 63 crore.
Apart from the property, the ED has also attached as many as 108 bank accounts of Nirav Modi, Neeshal Modi (brother of Nirav Modi) and their firms in various private and public sector and co-operative banks which accounted for Rs. 58 crore. The accounts attached are in the banks like Union Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and The Surat People Co-op Bank Ltd.
Investment of Rs. 35 crore done by Modi, his firm Camelot Trading Pvt. Ltd. and ANM enterprises Pvt. Ltd. in shares of listed companies such as Sun Pharma, Ambuja Cement, PNB Housing Finance, Power Grid Corporation of India, Reliance Industries, Jyothy Laboratories, IRB Infrastructure Developers, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and a few mutual funds have also been attached.
11 vehicles worth Rs. 4.01 crore owned by firms of Modi have also been provisionally attached by the agency. These vehicles included Rolls Royce-Ghost worth Rs. 1.90 crore owned by Firestone International Pvt. Ltd., Porsche AG worth Rs. 78 lakh owned by Firestar International, two Mercedes Benz each owned by Modi and Camelot Enterprises.
Notably, the ED seized 34000 pieces of jewellery worth Rs. 85 crore from the Dubai subsidiary of Gitajnali Group controlled by Choksi last week.
The agency, earlier in March too, had provisionally attached 21 properties now worth Rs. 523 crore of Modi and his associated firms. As per the sources, the agency is likely to file its first complaint in case of Modi this week. It is also planning to move court seeking confiscation of Modi’s properties under The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017.
Notably, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, his maternal uncle came under the scanner of various agencies such as CBI, DRI and Income tax department in connection with the alleged fraudulent LoUs (Letters of Undertaking) issued through PNB. Few weeks before the scam broke both of them flew away from India. It is known from the sources that Choksi is in the US while Modi is in the UK.