Nirav Modi may be hiding in London on Singaporean passport: report
After months of speculation, the whereabouts of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi may finally have been ascertained by the security agencies. Following in the footsteps of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Modi is believed to be hiding in London on a Singapore passport.
A report in IANS, citing Enforcement Directorate (ED) sources said, Modi is currently in London while his brother Nishal Modi is in Antwerp on a Belgian passport. Nirav's sister Purvi Mehta also holds a Belgian passport and is said to be in Hong Kong at present, it added.
The report said that Purvi's husband, Mayank Mehta (of Rosy Blue Diamond) has got a British passport and is shuttling between Hong Kong and New York. The ED has also issued summons to Nirav Modi's father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta. "They were sent the summons through mail," an ED official told IANS.
The ED is all set to file its first prosecution complaint (PC) known as chargesheet in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case next week. The first chargesheet to be filed would consist of investigation details and documentary evidences against diamantaire Nirav Modi and others with charges of money laundering, round-tripping and siphoning of bank loans, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Nirav Modi's relatives were summoned in the first week of this month and were given 15 days to appear before it in the ongoing money laundering probe of over Rs. 13,000 crore.
Business Today was the first to report that Nirav Modi's sister is likely to be named in the ED charge sheet. Purvi Mehta is an accused of round-tripping of the laundered money back to India.
Last month, there were reports that the absconding celebrity jeweller may have fled to New York from Hong Kong. The government had submitted a request to Hong Kong authorities for provisional arrest of Nirav Modi indicating that the diamantaire may be holed up in Hong Kong.
However, India Today TV had earlier reported that the fugitive businessman may have fled Hong Kong as there was too much heat on him after the Indian authorities had confirmed his presence in China's Special Administrative Region.
After three months of investigation, the CBI on May 14 filed its first chargesheet in the Rs 13,700-crore Punjab National Bank fraud at a special court in Mumbai, naming former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, currently serving as Allahabad Bank CEO and MD, and 23 others in the chargesheet.
The New York court where three of Nirav Modi's companies filed for bankruptcy has also called for an investigation into the role of the bank's employees in the alleged fraud before deciding on proceedings.