New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday sought Interpol arrest warrant against Billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. The ED has sent Letter Rogatory (LRs) to 7 more countries where Modi and Choksi have businesses and properties.
Companies belonging to Modi and Choksi allegedly colluded with employees of PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai to obtain fraudulent LoUs, without providing any margin money as security. They did not have any pre-approved credit limit either.
These firms raised short-term credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks based on these LoUs. The fraud which began in March 2011, is now estimated to have crossed USD 2 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore).
Modi, had left the country in the first week of January, around a month before the PNB filed first complaint.
The 46-year old, who holds an Indian passport, left India on January 1, while his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, departed from the country on same day. However, whether they travelled together has to be probed, they said.
Modi's wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and his uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, left on January 4.
Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamond R US belonging to high-end jeweller Modi and Choksi-promoted Gitanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra are alleged to have been involved in the scam.
CBI and ED are leading a multi agency probe into the fraud. Both Modi and Choksi have refused to return to face trial.
With Agency Inputs