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Tuesday 28 January 2020

PNB fraud: ED files first charge sheet against Nirav Modi, associates

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed its first charge sheet in the over $2 billion PNB fraud case involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his associates

Mumbai: Over three months after filing the first information report (FIR), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed its first charge sheet in the over $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case involving diamantaire  Nirav Modi and his associates, officials said.
They said the about 12,000-page charge sheet or the prosecution complaint has been filed before a special court here under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Th ED added that the criminal complaint has only been filed against Nirav Modi, his associates and businesses and the entire gamut of issuance of fake Letters of Undertaking (LoU) by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to his firms in alleged connivance of bank officials.

 

It is expected that the agency would file a second charge sheet against Modi’s uncle and jeweller Mehul Choksi and his businesses.

The charge sheet also details the attachments made by the agency against Modi and his associates in the last few months after it first registered an FIR in this case on 14 February.

The CBI had earlier this month filed two charge sheets in this case.

Nirav Modi, who is absconding and has not joined the ED probe in the case till now, and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraud came to light this year following a complaint by PNB that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

The ED charge sheet focuses on the money laundering aspect and the role of Nirav Modi and others in perpetrating the alleged fraud, a senior official said.

Earlier the central probe agency has filed two money laundering FIRs against Nirav Modi and his uncle and Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi to probe the alleged fraud in Punjab National Bank.

It has conducted a total of 251 country-wide searches in the case after it began the criminal probe against the accused in February. The total seizure and attachment of diamond, gold, precious and semi-precious stones and other movable and immovable assets in the case stand at Rs 7,664 crore.

Both Nirav Modi and Choski are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.

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