The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed its first chargesheet against fugitive businessman Nirav Modi and his associates in the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, unidentified officials told PTI. The 12,000-page chargesheet was filed in a special court in Mumbai under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The chargesheet named 24 people, including businessman Nirav Modi, his father, sister and brother-in-law, PTI reported. The agency is expected to file another chargesheet against Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi.
The agency found that Modi diverted about $629 million (Rs 4,300 crore at current exchange rate) from Rs 6,939.84 crore obtained through fraudulent Letters of Undertaking to himself, his firms and his relatives, through 15 “dummy companies” based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, The Indian Express reported.
He also diverted another $312.81 million (Rs 2,138 crore) to various group companies through six Hong Kong-based firms indirectly controlled by him, the chargesheet said. At least Rs 137 crore of the money obtained through the Letters of Undertaking went to Nirav Modi’s personal bank accounts too, the ED found.
The agency has mentioned in detail the assets of the accused that it has attached in the last few months. On Monday, the agency attached assets estimated to be worth Rs 170 crore belonging to Nirav Modi.
The same day, the Central Bureau of Investigation submitted its second chargesheet in the case to a special court alleging that the bank’s former managing director and chief executive officer, Usha Ananthasubramanian, was aware of the illegal dealings with Modi. It also accused her of misleading the Reserve Bank of India. The first chargesheet was filed on May 14.
Discovering the scam
On February 14, the Punjab National Bank informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it had detected “fraudulent and unauthorised transactions” worth Rs 11,380 crore at its Brady House branch in South Mumbai. The bank revised this figure to Rs 12,703 crore and later to around Rs 13,645 crore.