DRI initiates prosecution against Nirav Modi
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested four people on Sunday in relation to the Rs12,600 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB), while the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) initiated prosecution against jeweller Nirav Modi and his companies.
The arrested include two employees and an auditor of the Nirav Modi Group of Companies, and one director of Gitanjali Group helmed by Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi.
A CBI spokesperson said Manish K. Bosamiya, former assistant general manager or AGM (operation) and Miten Anil Pandya, former finance manager of Firestar International Ltd were arrested for their alleged role in applying for letters of understanding from PNB. The agency also arrested Sanjay Rambhia, a partner in Mumbai-based accounting firm Sampat and Mehta. It also arrested Aniyath Shiv Raman Nair, former director of Gili India Ltd, part of Gitanjali Group.
“It was alleged that besides being one of the directors of Gitanjali Group of Companies, he was the authorized signatory for the applications made to PNB for issuance of purported LOUs and FLCs (foreign letters of credit),” the CBI spokesperson added.
Lawyers of Modi and Choksi could not be reached for a comment. Emails sent to Modi bounced back.
Meanwhile, an official at DRI, on condition of anonymity, said it has initiated prosecution proceedings against Modi and his firms for alleged misdeclaration and diversion of imported diamonds.
In the case dating back to 2014-15, Modi and his firms are accused of causing losses in customs duty to the government by understating the value and quantity of the imported cut and polished diamonds, pearls. Further, they are accused of diversion of the duty exempted goods to the domestic tariff area clandestinely, falsification of documents and violation of rules of special economic zones, the official said.
Modi will be prosecuted under the Customs Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Modi, Firestar Diamond International, Firestar International Pvt Ltd, and Radhashir Jewellery Co. Ltd will be prosecuted under Sections 132, 135(1)(a), 135(1)(b), 135(1)(i) of Customs Act, 1962 and Section 120-B of IPC, 1860, the official said, adding punishment under the Customs Act can go up to seven years.
The draft complaint along with documents have been forwarded to the jurisdictional Commissionerate in Surat for filing in the appropriate court of law. Trial is expected to be launched shortly, the official added.
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