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Enforcement Directorate seizes nine luxury cars belonging to Nirav Modi: PNB fraud case

The enforcement directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 94.52 crore of the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups in connection with a money laundering research against them in the Rs 11,400-crore purported fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
It also seized nine high-end luxury cars of Modi as part of its investigation against him under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Officials of the agency said frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 86.72 crore belong to Choksi and his group, and the rest are owned by the Modi group.

Choksi is Modi’s uncle and promoter of the Gitanjali Gems group and other jewellery brands.

The central probe agency also seized nine costly cars of Modi, recovered by it during raids last week.

Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after it recently arrived to light, following a complaint by the PNB, that they purportedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were abided against them.

The ED on Wednesday raided 17 locations across the country and seized the purported fraudster’s diamond and gold jewellery worth Rs 10 crore, even as in another case the agency provisionally attached assets worth Rs 100 crore of REI Agro.

Separately, the income tax department also attached additional bank accounts of Nirav Modi’s and his combined firms, taking the total bank accounts attached so far to 141, with a cumulative balance of Rs 145 crore.

The I-T department additionally attached four immovable properties of the Rotomac group in Kanpur and Ahmedabad.

The ED also scrutinised papers of some of the shell companies combined with Modi and those of Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems.

Mehul Choksi is a co-accused in the Punjab National Bank’s Rs 11,400 crore swindle along with Modi and was partner in three firms linked to the case—Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds. The other accused in the case are Modi’s wife Ami and brother Nishal.

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