India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Monday (1) that it has attached the properties worth £67.02 million of absconding celebrity jeweller, business tycoon, Nirav Modi, and his family.
The properties include two apartments in New York’s central park. The move of the ED has come as apart of its fresh action in the £1.53 billion, alleged bank fraud case in state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The ED has added that, it has issued as many as five provisional orders, under country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of assets of Modi in London, New York, bank balances in Singapore, and other countries, a flat in Mumbai, and diamond-studded jewellery that was sent to India from Singapore.
International co-operation has helped the Indian investigators for the seizure and provisional attachment of jewellery, bank accounts, and immovable assets worth £67.02m in the country and other four foreign countries.
The ED has said, among the attached assets, the two apartments in New York’s central park area worth £22.73m which are registered in the name of Modi. A flat worth £5.99m in London’s Marylebone road has also been attached.
The investigators have taken the diamond jewellery worth £2.39m after receiving them from Hong Kong in 23 shipments to India. A bank balance of £4.63m, kept in an account in Singapore in the name of Modi’s firm has also been attached. The beneficial owners of these assets, deposits have been known Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta, the ED said.
Five other foreign bank accounts containing £29.25m have also been attached and they are owned by Nirva Modi, Purvi Modi, and their controlled companies, it added.
“During investigation, it was found that most of the money was transferred to these accounts after FIRs were filed in this scam,” the ED said. A £2.05m worth flat in a small locality in Mumbai owned by Purvi Modi has also been attached.
Nirav Modi is absconding since alleged bank fraud case. The agency has attached properties worth £73.65m of Nirav Modi and members of his family in India till now.
The ED has also registered a charge sheet against Modi accusing that he diverted £673.41m of bank funds abroad to fake firms that were under the control of his and members of his family.
Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light in 2018 following a complaint by the PNB that Nirav Modi and others cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over £1.37bn, with the purported involvement of a few staff of the bank.