Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday wrote to the external affairs ministry to revoke passports of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi, who are wanted in the PNB fraud case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and conducted raids in a case of alleged bank fraud by Nirav Modi and his firms against public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The ED on Thursday morning conducted raids on 12 premises in connection with the case, said an ED official, on the condition of anonymity.
“The raids have been conducted on the charges of money laundering and whether the firms have defrauded the bank," said the ED official.
A spokesperson for ED confirmed the development.
The raids happened in Mumbai and Delhi at offices and residential premises of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems Ltd.
The premises raided by ED in Mumbai include Modi’s residence in Kurla, his jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company locations in Bandra and Lower Parel, and Modi’s showrooms in Delhi.
Emails sent to the spokespersons of Nirav Modi’s firms and Gitanjali Gems were not immediately answered.
The action is based on Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) case in connection with a Rs280 crore fraud case against Nirav Modi.
“The other two complaints which allege a fraud of Rs11,400 crore are not yet a part of the PMLA case. These will supplemented in the Rs280 crore case at a later stage," said the ED official, quoted earlier.
While the suspended PNB officials are also on the ED radar, whether their premises have been raided or not was not confirmed immediately.
This action by the enforcement agency come amid rumours that Modi has fled the country.
A CBI official said that no lookout notice has been issued against him yet. “No lookout notice for Modi yet since he has not been officially summoned for questioning. He has several offices globally and we are expecting cooperation when he is summoned. It is not to be assumed that he has fled the country like Vijay Mallya," said the CBI official, requesting anonymity.
State-run PNB on Wednesday morning said that it has unearthed fraudulent transactions of around Rs11,400 crore in one of its branches in Mumbai and filed a complaint with the enforcement agencies on the fraud amid the concern that the contagion could spread to other banks.
Shaswati Das and PTI contributed to this story.