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PNB fraud case: Enforcement Directorate seizes Rs 329 cr assets of Nirav Modi in India, UAE and United Kingdom

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, among others, are being probed by the ED on money laundering charges in connection with alleged bank fraud of Rs 14,000 crore at PNB branch in Mumbai.

PNB fraud case: Enforcement Directorate seizes Rs 329 cr assets of Nirav Modi in India, UAE and United Kingdom

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday (July 8) attached properties of diamond merchant Nirav Modi totalling Rs 329.66 crore, under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act 2018 (FEOA).

These confiscated properties include four flats at the iconic building Samudra Mahal in Worli Mumbai, one seaside farmhouse and land in Alibaug, Wind Mill in Jaisalmer, flat in London and residential flats in UAE, shares and bank deposits.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, among others, are being probed by the ED on money laundering charges in connection with alleged bank fraud of Rs 14,000 crore at Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Mumbai.

On July 10, 2018, the ED had filed an application before FEO special court to declare Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender and confiscate his properties, valued at Rs 1396 crore approx. 

The special court's order on December 5, 2019, declared Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender, and on June 8, 2020, directed the ED to attach the properties- other than properties mortgaged/hypothecated and secured to PNB led consortium,  belonging to Nirav Modi and his companies. 

The court ordered that after attachment the said properties shall stand confiscated to Central government under section 12(2) and (8) of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018. 

The court further directed consortium to approach PMLA Spl Court under Section 8(8) to claim the mortgaged/hypothecated and secured properties, which were attached by the ED. The properties attached to be worth Rs 1000 crore are prima facie covered under mortgage etc.

The Bombay High Court had also directed that sale proceeds of paintings (Rs 45 crore approx.) as FD till further order. Accordingly, the ED has attached the properties worth Rs 329.66 crore under FEO Act, 2018. The process for confiscation of remaining attached properties under FEOA has also been taken up. 

In this case, the ED has attached properties worth Rs 2348 crore of Nirav Modi under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Currently, Nirav Modi is in a London jail after his arrest in March 2019, while Mehul Choksi has taken citizenship of the Caribbean island nation of Antigua & Barbuda.

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