Saturday, 21 July, 2018

ED seizes Rs 100 Cr deposits, luxury cars of Nirav Modi, Choksi

ED seizes Rs 100 Cr deposits, luxury cars of Nirav Modi, Choksi ED seizes Rs 100 Cr deposits, luxury cars of Nirav Modi, Choksi
Nellie Chapman | 24 February, 2018, 16:33

Scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) today said cricketer Virat Kohli continues to be its brand ambassador and denied reports that it has engaged audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to investigate the Rs 11,400 crore fraud committed on the state-owned lender by diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his associates. The agency seized a Rolls Royce Ghost, two Mercedes Benz GL series, a Porsche Panamera, three Hondas, a Toyota Fortuner and an Innova.

Even as the Enforcement Directorate froze bank deposits and shares worth Rs 44 crore, the agency has called in Ami, the wife of PNB scam accused, Nirav Modi for questioning. Raids have been conducted for over a week on properties associated with Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi located across the country.

Modi, who had a chain of boutique stores from NY to Beijing, and his uncle Mehul Choksi are both accused of perpetrating the biggest loan fraud in Indian banking history and are both out of the country.

ED officials said they have frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 86.72 crore belonging to Choksi and his group and Rs 7.80 crore owned by the Modi group.

The bank alleges the employees issued unauthorized letters of undertaking, or guarantees, that allowed the firms to secure credit from overseas branches of other, mostly Indian banks.

Absconding diamond merchant Mehul Choksi voiced his defence for the first time since his named surfaced in the Rs 11,400-crore PNB fraud. In a letter, dated February 15/16, Modi requested the bank to let him pay the salaries to his 2,200 employees from the balance available in the current accounts of the Nirav Modi Group.

In the ongoing investigations, the Central Bureau of Investigation has interrogated around a dozen more PNB officials, mainly from the PNB's flagship Brady House Branch which has now emerged as the epicentre of the massive fraud.

Modi is said to be worth around £1.3bn and has provided jewellery pieces for stars like Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts.

In a related development, ED has issued fresh summons against Modi, after he failed to appear and depose before it. ED sources said that Modi had replied to the ED's investigating officer (IO), who is probing the PNB fraud case, that his passport has been temporary suspended.

"You were getting LoUs issued illegally and in an unauthorized way through few bank officials".

"However, the goal of imported watches would be clear after sometime as it might have been imported for gifting objective also", he said.