NEW DELHI: Accused of fraudulent transactions in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, fugitive Nirav Modi has fled India. The enforcement directorate has issued summons to the billionaire diamond merchant and his business partner Mehul Choksi but there has been no response from them yet, sources in the ED told news agency ANI.
It is also being reportedly investigated as to why the then deputy manager of PNB Gokulnath Shetty was not promoted for many years. Shetty, along with two other officials was arrested on Saturday in connection with the case.
The first letter of understanding was reportedly issued in March 2011 and was rolled over. The arrested bank officials have disclosed during the investigation that for every Letter of Undertaking that was issued to the company of Nirav of Nirav Modi, a percentage of the amount was fixed depending on how much needs to be sanctioned. A commission in exchange of issuing the LoUs was also distributed among all employees of PNB who were involved in it.
Both Modi and Choksi have been summoned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and have been asked to depose within a week's time. The notices were handed over to the directors of the firms of the two businessmen as they were not in the country.
While Modi runs the jewellery brand chain under his name, Choksi is the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.
The ED had registered a PMLA case against them and others based on a CBI FIR which was the result of a PNB complaint.
The ED has been carrying out multiple raids on showrooms, workshops, offices and residences of Modi and Choksi. The agency is probing if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.
Modi, was booked by the CBI, along with his wife Ami, brother and Choksi on January 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run PNB to the tune of Rs 280 crore.
The bank has sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, saying the scam was worth more than Rs 11,400 crore.