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PNB scam: ED arrests close aide of Nirav Modi on money laundering charges

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    The Enforcement Directorate which is probing the PNB scam amounting to over Rs 12,000 crore has arrested a close aide of Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the case.

    Nirav Modi

    Shyam Sundar Wadhwa, the vice-president of the Firestar Group was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A statement released by the ED also said that Wadhwa, a chartered accountant was remanded to seven days custody.

    The ED while describing him as a close associate of Modi also said that he had been in touch with the prime accused and was also involved in money laundering. This incidentally is the first arrest that the ED has made in the case. The arrests made earlier were all carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

    Wadhwa was instrumental in setting up two companies in Hong Kong (Ms Aura Gem and Ms Sino Traders) along with "dummy" directors and these firms "were used" for laundering proceed of crime and substantial amounts totalling Rs 5,921 crore, the ED said.

    These funds were routed from the LOUs (Letters of Undertaking) fraudulently" issued by the PNB for the Nirav Modi group of companies--Ms Solar Exports, Ms Stellar Diamonds and Ms Diamonds R US, the agency also said.

    "Out of the funds so received, Ms Aura Gem has transferred an amount of Rs 468 crore and Ms Sino Traders Rs 506.69 crore to the said three companies and completed the process of laundering money," the ED also said.

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