New Delhi, February 22: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday launched an intensified investigation in the Rs 11,378.68 Crores Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case, froze mutual funds and shares worth about 94.5 Crore rupees of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi Group.
Officials of the Enforcement Directorate said that the agency has frozen mutual funds and shares worth 86.72 crore rupees belong to Choksi and his group, and the rest are owned by the Nirav Modi group. Moving ahead with the probe, the ED also seized nine high luxury cars belonging to Nirav Modi and his companies. On the other side, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Nirav Modi's farmhouse in Alibag near Mumbai.
Billionaire Diamond Jeweller Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after a recent complaint by the PNB, that they allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of 11,400 crore rupees. After the scam was unveiled, the Enforcement Directorate registered an FIR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Nirav Modi and his Mumbai-based firms Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs decision was based on the advice of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which filed money laundering cases against Modi and Choksi in relation to the alleged Rs 11, 400 crore PNB fraud. MEA has also asked Modi and Choksi to respond within one week and justify why their passports should not be revoked.
Importantly, Nirav Modi and his brother Nishal Modi left the country on 1st of January this year. Nirav Modi's wife, an American citizen, left India on 6 January while Mehul Choksi left the country on 4 January. CBI received a complaint from PNB on 29th Jan 2018 and registered the case on 31st January.