The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday provisionally attached immovable properties, valuables, vehicle, bank account having a total value of Rs 24.77 Crore of absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002(PMLA) in Punjab National Bank Fraud Case.
The ED said in a press release that it has attached 3 commercial properties in Dubai, valuables, one Mercedes Benz E280 and Fixed Deposit Account controlled by Choksi.
It may be recalled that the ED had launched investigation in money laundering case against Choksi and other accused in February 2018 under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of FIR registered by Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) under sections 120-B r/w 420 of IPC, 1860 read with Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988. Choksi and others are accused of committing the offence of cheating against PNB in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the Letter Of Undertaking/Foreign Letters of Credit issued causing wrongful loss to the bank.
Out of total Proceeds of Crime worth Rs 6097.73 Crore, ED has attached and seized properties worth Rs 2534.7 Crore including the latest attachment. Choksi is currently living in Antigua and Barbuda and the Indian government has already sent an extradition request to Antiguan government. A Red Corner Notice has also been issued against Choksi on ED's request.
On June 17, Choksi had submitted an affidavit in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay stating that he has not fled the country but left for medical treatment. Choksi had submitted the affidavit with details of his diseases in the court. In the affidavit, Choksi had said that he is unable to travel due to medical issues and vowed to return to India as soon he is medically fit. He also stated that the investigative agencies --ED and CBI -- can question him in Antigua, where he is currently residing.