PNB Scam: ED seizes Rs 44 crore of the Nirav Modi group

Last Modified Friday, 23 February 2018 (15:15 IST)
Mumbai: The on Friday continued the searches at the Mumbai residence of diamond merchant and seized bank deposits and shares worth about Rs 44 crore.On Thursday seizure were also made which include one Rolls Royce Ghost, two Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDIs, one Porsche Panamera, 3 Honda cars, one Toyota Fortuner and one Toyota Inn. 

The agency has so far seized assets worth Rs 5,716 crore as raids continued for the eight day in connection with the money laundering probe in the alleged Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud.Official sources said sleuths searched Modi's flat in the Samudra Mahal apartments in Worli. The central probe agency also conducted searches at 38 other locations in several cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Thane, Kolkata, Delhi, Jammu, Lucknow, Bengaluru and Surat. It seized fresh assets worth Rs 22 crore that include precious stones, cash and gold from the premises of Modi, his relative and business partner Mehul Choksi and others. 

ED sources said the agency is also talking to senior PNB officials to ascertain how Letters of Understanding (LoUs) are issued and other bank operations done. It also obtained information from the whistleblower in the case who had said he had raised flags against Choksis' loan in 2013. "We are looking at securing the proceeds of crime. The ED will probe how much illicit wealth was created by the accused in the alleged fraud," a senior official said. 

It has also sought PNB's audit reports since 2011 from the RBI, they said. The sources said the ED was looking at collecting all financial documents -- personal and official -- of Modi, Choksi and their businesses to take the probe forward and attach properties in the coming days. "A number of computer peripherals, hard drives and documents have been seized since the ED raids began on February 15. The seized items are being scrutinised," another official said. ED Director Karnal Singh is also stationed in Mumbai to review the anti-money laundering investigations, which are being conducted by a special team of the agency. The ED is also moving to attach at least two dozen immovable properties of Modi, Choksi and their concerns under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).