Guwahati: As the latest step against the fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in Dubai for his PNB fraud charges, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 11 properties worth over Rs 56 crore. The ED announced about this attachment on Tuesday. Notably, Modi is booked on money-laundering charges in the USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Sources say that the assets being attached by the ED were in the name of “Modi and his group company M/s Firestar Diamond FZE and they bear a market value of USD 7.79 million, which is equivalent to Rs 56.8 crore“. A provisional order too has been issued by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
However, this is not the only attachment that ED has made as before this also, that is in last month the agency attached assets worth Rs 637 crore that belonged to Modi and his family members. The attachment also included two apartments at New York’s iconic Central Park.
As stated by the agency sources, it will soon get multiple letters rogatory (judicial requests) issued by a Mumbai court so that attached asset becomes a legal formalisation of the agency. Once the LRs are issued, India will be able to freeze the foreign assets of the accused as part of a global legal cooperation in criminal matters.
Notably, ever since the PNB fraud case came into light, the protagonist of the scam, Mr. Modi has been absconding. An Interpol arrest warrant was also notified against him recently with India working to get him extradited from the UK as Modi was last reported to have been based in the UK.
So far, the agency has attached assets worth over Rs 700 crore that belonged to Mr. Modi and his family in the country along with filing a charge sheet against the fugitive diamond jeweller. The charge sheet alleges that he laundered and diverted over Rs 6,400 crore of bank funds to dummy companies abroad and all these companies were under his and his family’s control.
Both, Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi along with some others are being probed following the PNB fraud complaint according to which they were charged that they cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore with the purported involvement of some of its employees.