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Nirav Modi's 'valuable' paintings are fake, suspect investigative agencies

Nirav is being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the fraud came to light recently following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank.

Nirav Modi's 'valuable' paintings are fake, suspect investigative agencies
Pic courtesy: Reuters

New Delhi: Some of the valuable paintings seized by the investigative agencies from billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi's residence and offices may be fake.

As per reports, the agencies are trying to ascertain whether the valuable paintings are real or not. Though Nirav Modi is said to have bought certain works of famous painters at auctions, the agencies suspect that most of the other paintings may be a replica of the original one.

The jeweller is known to have gifted paintings of famous artists to his exclusive clients in foreign countries in order to impress them. He is also believed to have gifted such paintings to few rich and the famous people in India.

The investigative agencies suspect that some of the paintings seized from Nirav Modi's residence may have come from China. Forged artworks is business there. 

On the other hand, some of the paintings confiscated from Nirav Modi's house are oil and abstract paintings which do not have the name of any artist on them. 

Some 20 paintings have reportedly been seized from his house and office. 

Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after a fraud came to light recently following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank. It is alleged that they cheated the nationalised bank with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

Choksi is promoter of the Gitanjali Gems group and other jewellery brands

On February 14, 2018, PNB had disclosed that it had detected fraudulent transactions with a financial implication of about Rs 11,400 crore and the matter had been referred to law enforcement agencies for the recovery.

The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. 

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Thursday that it has frozen shares, deposits and luxury cars worth over Rs 100 crore of the Nirav Modi and Choksi groups in connection with a money-laundering probe against them, as per PTI.

ED officials said they have frozen mutual funds and shares worth Rs 86.72 crore belonging to Choksi and his group and Rs 7.80 crore owned by the Nirav Modi group.

While the total value of these shares and mutual funds is Rs 94.52 crore, the costly four-wheelers are worth a few crores and hence the total seizure value stands to be over Rs 100 crore, the officials said.

The total seizure in the case is now Rs. 5,826 crore, which the agency has said is being independently valued.

The central probe agency also seized nine high-end cars belonging to Nirav Modi during the raids that were launched against him and Choksi on February 15, 2018, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The seized car brands include a Rolls Royce 'Ghost', a Mercedes Benz, a Porsche Panamera, three Honda models, a Toyota Fortuner and an Innova.

(With PTI inputs)