Nirav Modi-PNB Fraud: Supreme Court Seeks Probe Status Report in Sealed Cover, Centre Objects
New Delhi, Feb 24: The passports of jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have reportedly been revoked in connection with the multi-crore PNB fraud, reports claimed on Saturday. The Ministry of External Affairs, in its statement, had served a notice to the accused persons in India’s biggest banking scam and sought their response as to why their passports should not be revoked. The latest action will bar them from travelling to other countries from their base. Modi was reportedly last seen in New York in the United States. [Also read: Jaitley Slams Regulators For Failing to Detect Rs 11,400-Cr Scam]
“Mr. Nirav Deepak Modi and Mr. Mehul Chinubhai Choksi have been asked to respond within one week as to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked under Section 10 (3) (c) of the Passports Act 1967. If they fail to respond within the stipulated time it will be assumed that they have no response to offer and the MEA will go ahead with the revocation,” the statement had read. [Also read: After PNB Fraud, Bank of Maharashtra Knocks CBI’s Door in Rs 9.5 Crore Loan Default Case]
ED attaches properties worth Rs 523 Crore
Tightening the noose, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday attached 21 properties of Nirav Modi including flats in Mumbai’s posh areas worth Rs 523 Crore. The agency added that it seized a Rs 81.16 crore valued penthouse (created by joining three flats) and a flat worth Rs 15.45 crore in the sea-facing Samudra Mahal apartments in the Worli area of Mumbai under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Punjab National Bank, in its statement, accused Nirav Modi of duping it to the tune of Rs 11,300 crore by acquiring forged Letter of Undertakings (LoU). [Also read: Look For Jobs Elsewhere, Don’t Want You to Suffer Due to Your Connection With me: Mehul Choksi to Employees]
It’s ED & Passport Authority acting contrary to each other. Passport Authority initially suspended & later on revoked Passport. ED is saying please come & join, if one doesn’t have a passport & admittedly he’s abroad. How will he come & join?: Vijay Aggarwal, #NiravModi‘s lawyer pic.twitter.com/KL9cRLQTZl
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2018
The agency, in its statement, said that it has provisionally attached 21 properties of Nirav Modi worth Rs 523.72 crore. “21 immovable properties of Nirav Modi and companies controlled by him, with a market value of Rs 523.72 crore, have been provisionally attached. These include 6 residential properties, ten office premises, 2 flats in Pune, a solar power plant, a farmhouse in Alibaug and 135 acres of land in Karjat in Ahmednagar district,” the agency said.
The agency’s action on Saturday is the first attempt to attach immovable properties of beleaguered diamantaire. After registering first complaint in Punjab National Bank Scam of Rs 11, 300 crore, the ED also seized gems, diamonds, jewellery, shares, bank deposits and costly cars.
The agency added that Samudra Mahal properties and two other flats in Pune’s Hadapsar area are in the name of Modi and his wife Ami. However, the assets attached in the pricey Kalaghoda and Opera House area in the Maharashtra capital are in the name of Modi’s diamond firm– Firestarter Diamond International Private Limited.
A farmhouse and adjoining land, worth over Rs 42.70 crore, in the Kihim area of beach-side Alibaug of the Nirav Modi Trust has also been attached.
Similarly, a 53-acre solar power plant, valued at Rs 70 crore, in the Karjat area of Ahmednagar district of the state has also been brought under the same action. Two office properties, worth about Rs 80 crore, in the name of Mark Business Enterprises Private Limited in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai have also been attached.