The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 14.45 crore belonging to the Gitanjali Group and its promoter and fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi. He is one of the prime accused, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, in the over Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
The assets, attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, includes a flat measuring 1,460 square feet in Mumbai’s Goregaon area, gold and platinum jewellery, diamond stones, necklaces made of silver and pearls, watches and a Mercedes Benz car, the central agency said in a statement, according to PTI.
Earlier in 2019, the Enforcement Directorate had attached and seized Choksi’s properties worth more than Rs 2,500 crore. Choski had fled India in January 2018, a few weeks before the PNB fraud came to light. Choksi had told the Bombay High Court that he left India for a medical check-up and not because of the scam.
In August 2018, he claimed he had “lawfully applied” to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda to expand his business interests in the Caribbean. In January 2019, Choksi had surrendered his Indian citizenship and passport to authorities in Antigua and Barbuda.
The PNB fraud came to light in February 2018 when the bank informed the BSE that it had detected “fraudulent and unauthorised transactions” worth Rs 11,380 crore at a branch in South Mumbai. A few officials of the public sector bank had allegedly issued fraudulent Letters of Undertaking to Nirav Modi’s companies. The bank later raised its estimate of the value of the fraud to over Rs 13,000 crore.
Modi is currently in prison in the United Kingdom, where he is facing extradition proceedings.