The Enforcement Directorate may approach a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court to get non-bailable warrants issued against billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi if they fail to appear before the agency on Monday, reported PTI. Modi and Choksi, accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 11,380 crore, were issued summons on Friday.
The Enforcement Directorate is also likely to send judicial requests to multiple countries to obtain details about the overseas businesses and assets of Modi and Choksi. Unidentified people told PTI that the agency will approach a Mumbai court with a request to grant Letters Rogatory. These are formal requests from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance.
The agency is likely to send these letters to Belgium, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and United Kingdom. Modi’s assets and the sources of his wealth in those countries will be investigated. If it is found that these assets were created using funds from the alleged bank fraud, the agency may attach those under the PMLA.
This comes at a time when the Enforcement Directorate has written to 16 banks, apart from the Punjab National Bank, that gave loans to Modi and Choksi. The two may have caused losses worth Rs 20,000 crore in total, reports said.
On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate seized stock memos worth Rs 5 crore from Nirav Modi’s franchises in Madhya Pradesh, reported The Times of India. On the same day, the agency seized 21 of Modi’s properties, attaching his immovable assets for the first time.
On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate seized stock memos worth Rs 5 crore from various districts across Madhya Pradesh, reported The Times of India. On the same day, the agency had seized 21 of Modi’s properties, including a farmhouse and a penthouse, attaching his immovable assets for the first time.
Modi, Choksi planned to leave country in 2017
Modi and Choksi may have planned to leave India in November 2017 after a new team of officials at the Punjab National Bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai refused to issue fraud Letters of Credit and Letters of Undertaking, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
“In November, when there were changes at the Brady House branch of PNB and the new staff members were averse to carrying out fraudulent transactions, the accused planned their exit,” an investigating official told the newspaper. “Two senior employees, on whose instance the LoUs were issued, left in November itself and are believed to be in Dubai. After [Deputy Manager] Gokulnath Shetty’s retirement on January 1, Modi and Choksi, along with their families, fled the country the same week.”
While Modi is reported to flown out to the United States with his brother Nishal on January 1, his wife and Choksi left on January 6. A look out notice was issued against Modi and Choksi on Monday, ANI reported.