A special Mumbai court on Saturday, 3 March, issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in the alleged Rs 12,700 crore Punjab National Bank scam.
The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court issued the warrants filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED had already issued summonses to the key accused – Modi and Choksi – to appear before the central agency. However, the two traders, who are said to have had left the country before the cases were registered, failed to appear before the investigative agency, reported PTI.
The CBI has produced six accused before the special CBI court, seeking police custody for Gokulanath Shetty and judicial custody for the other five, reported ANI.
Shetty, has been accused of being the key facilitator of the PNB fraud who had foregone promotions to stay at the bank’s Brady House branch.
Jewellery designer Nirav Modi, who boasts celebrity clientele across the globe, has been accused of being at the centre of a fraud at Punjab National Bank that is estimated to be worth $2 billion (Rs 12,700 crore).
Mehul Choksi, the managing director of Gitanjali Gems and who is also the maternal uncle of Modi, has come under the radar of various investigative agencies too.
The fraud is believed to be the largest of its kind to be detected across the Indian banking sector.
Modi, in an email to Enforcement Directorate, said that the passport authority had suspended his passport when they had written to him to join the probe, ANI reported.
"Wrote to passport authority requesting it to provide me reasons of suspension and proposed revocation. Surprisingly, within minutes of my reply, authority revoked my passport," he added.
"The lightning speed in which the authority has acted clearly shows that the action itself was pre-determined and my fate was already decided, without even considering my reply and without any regard to law." - Nirav Modi in response to ED’s mail
He also said that he is presently engaged in dealing with businesses outside India.
“Trying to ensure that so far as possible the position of these business creditors (including banks) and employees are properly considered," said Modi to the ED, according to ANI.
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