CBI Seeks Interpol's Help In Arresting Nirav Modi

Marcus Newton
February 26, 2018

Billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his business partner Mehul Choksi, who are at the forefront of Rs 11,400 crore alleged fraud in PNB, had their passports revoked on Saturday, said sources.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seems to have turned the tide towards the other banks in the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, which has shaken up the entire banking system in the country, hence raising questions over the credibility about these public sector banks to keep the public money safe. PNB says the fraud began as early as 2011 and remained undetected as the staff did not enter the transactions into its core software after sending instructions to overseas banks using Swift.

In connection with the PNB case, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court in Mumbai has remanded to police custody till March 3 three accused persons in the case - PNB Deputy Manager Gokulnath Shetty, Single Window Operator Manoj Kharat and an authorised signatory of prime accused Nirav Modi's group companies.

The government revoked the passport of disgraced diamond czar Nirav Modi even as his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi wrote to his employees telling them that he would not be able to pay their dues.

The Enforcement Directorate, which fights financial crimes, said on Twitter it had taken possession of 21 properties belonging to Modi worth 5.24 billion rupees ($81 million) in the latest swoop in Mumbai and Pune, another city in western India.

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Last week, in a regulatory filing, Allahabad Bank had said that it has an exposure of almost $366.87 million in the form LoUs issued by PNB.

A CBI source said the officials were being interviewed to gather information on how the scam was detected and they were not being treated as suspects.

The agency is also trying to ascertain that whether these officers were in touch with Modi and Choksi or not or whether they met him in their headquarters or not. Their questioning also happened simultaneously in the Mumbai office of the CBI.

While the Samudra Mahal properties and two other flats in Punes Hadapsar area are in the name of Modi and his wife Ami, the assets attached in the pricey Kalaghoda and Opera House area in the Maharashtra capital are in the name of Modi's diamond firm- Firestarter Diamond International Private Limited. The total assets seized by the ED in this case are now over Rs 6,393 crore, officials had said, adding that this was being independently valued.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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