The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said it has recovered Rs 17.25 crore from an account in United Kingdom that was opened by fugitive entrepreneur Nirav Modi in the name of his sister Purvi Modi.

Nirav Modi is accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. He was arrested on March 19, 2019, and has been lodged in London’s Wandsworth jail.

“On 24.06.2021, Purvi Modi intimated Directorate of Enforcement that she had received the knowledge of one bank account in London, United Kingdom in her name, which was opened at the behest of her brother, Nirav Modi and that the funds did not belong to her,” the Enforcement Directorate’s statement read.

Purvi Modi was allowed “tender of pardon” on the conditions of making “full and true disclosure”, the central agency said.

The Enforcement Directorate also cited two of its complaints on May 24, 2018, and February 28, 2019, before the special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In both these complaints, Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta were listed as accused in the case against Nirav Modi.

In January, Purvi Modi and Mehta were allowed by a special court in Mumbai to become witnesses against the fugitive diamond merchant in two cases of the Enforcement Directorate.

Nirav Modi’s case history

Modi is facing two sets of criminal proceedings. The Central Bureau of Investigation’s case relates to the large-scale fraud upon PNB through the fraudulent obtaining of “Letters of Understanding”, while the Enforcement Directorate is investigating the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.

He also faces two additional charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses, or criminal intimidation to cause death added to the CBI case.

Throughout the proceedings of the case, which went on for two years, Modi has denied the charges and opposed the efforts to extradite him from Britain to India. But his multiple attempts at seeking bail was repeatedly turned down as he was deemed a flight risk.

On June 22, Nirav Modi lost an appeal against extradition to India in a United Kingdom High Court.

In February, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK had ordered that the fugitive diamond merchant can be extradited to India to face trial. On April 15, the United Kingdom’s Home Minister Priti Patel approved Nirav Modi’s extradition to India.

This leaves the fugitive businessman with the only option to make his case at a brief oral submission in the High Court to get a chance of a full hearing. Modi had time to apply for the oral hearing till this week.

If the oral submission is rejected, he will have no legal remedies left in the United Kingdom. The fugitive businessman, however, can still approach the European Human Rights court.

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