PNB Fraud Case: Enforcement Directorate Seizes 9 Cars of Nirav Modi

India arrests 6 suspects in $1.8 billion bank fraud case

A day after the CBI sealed the expansive Alibaug farmhouse owned by diamond-merchant Nirav Modi, the ED Thursday said it has frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 94.52 crore owned the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups.

The seizures were conducted as a part of the money laundering probe against them in the alleged fraud case of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) worth Rs 11,400 crore.

Apart from this, Nirav Modi's 9 luxury cars and 7.80 crores worth mutual funds were also seized.

Officers said they would soon seek letters rogatory from the court to acquire documents from banks and other institutions overseas.

In an emotional outburst outside the sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday, Sujata Patil said she would beat Nirav Modi with "chappal" (slipper) if he came to India.

Mr Jaitley also said "the supervisory agencies" needed to "introspect as what are the additional mechanisms they have to put in place to ensure that stray cases don't become a pattern again", adding: "It is incumbent on us as a chase these people to the last possible conclusion to make sure the country is not cheated".

The cars seized by the agency include a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Porsche Panamera, two Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDIs, three Honda cars, a Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Innova.

CBI late on Tuesday night arrested a general manager or GM rank officer of PNB, Rajesh Jindal, who held the charge of branch head at the PNB Brady House branch, Mumbai, from August 2009 to May 2011, the investigation agency revealed on Wednesday morning. He and his family fled India weeks before the bank registered a criminal case with the CBI on January 31, 2018.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that Nirav Modi, a jeweller to Hollywood stars including Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts, was involved in scamming India's second-largest state bank of nearly $1.8 billion.

The DFS is considering calling a meeting of PNB and all the other Indian banks (SBI, Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank) who had exposure to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi firms, it is learnt.

It urged Modi to respond with a "concrete and implementable" repayment plan on outstanding dues. At that time, PNB had said it was digging into records to examine the magnitude of the fraud.

The bank reiterated that it had enough assets and capital to meet any liabilities from the fraud. "We have followed lawful avenues available to us as per law of the land to recover our dues", the bank said in a regulatory filing. The Centre, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, vehemently opposed the PIL seeking an independent probe and the deportation of Nirav Modi, before a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

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