PNB-Nirav Modi fraud: Assets worth Rs 5,100cr seized

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The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Businessman Nirav Modi.

Nirav Modi

ED has seized assets amounting to Rs 5100 crore, which include diamond jewellery, gold and cash from Modi's offices, showrooms and diamond workshops in Mumbai, Surat (Gujarat) and New Delhi.

The ED has also written to external affairs ministry to revoke the passports of Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi, according to officials.

According to the reports, five properties belonging to Modi and the other accused in Mumbai were sealed by the agency.

They searched Modi's residence in Kurla, jewellery boutique in Kala Ghoda area, three company offices in Bandra and Lower Parel in Mumbai, three premises in Surat in Gujarat and Modi's showrooms in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony in Delhi.

Diamond, jewellery and gold worth Rs 5,100 crore have been seized during the searches, the officials said.

The ED filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR registered early this month.

The state-owned bank said it had detected a $1.77 billion fraud in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

PNB has suspended 10 officers over the scam and referred the matter to CBI for investigation.

It is learnt that Modi - whose operations are spread across Europe, the US, Middle East and Far East besides India - has written to PNB and other banks that he would return their outstandings.

This could be the biggest banking fraud in India as its quantum was bigger than an estimated Rs 9,000 crore scam at erstwhile Satyam Computers.

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