200 Shell Companies, Benami Properties Investigated In PNB Fraud Case

The list includes 10 places in Bengaluru, seven in Delhi, five each in Kolkata and Mumbai, four each in Chandigarh and Hyderabad, three each in Patna and Lucknow, two in Ahmedabad and one each in Chennai and Guwahati.

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200 Shell Companies, Benami Properties Investigated In PNB Fraud Case

Over the last 3 days, raids have been held at 73 locations across the country in the Nirav Modi scam case


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. PNB says was scammed of over Rs 11,000 crore by Nirav Modi, associates
  2. Investigators suspect shell companies used to route funds
  3. Funds then parked as land, gold and gems under fake identities, they say
More than 200 fake companies and assets under fake names are being investigated in connection with the Rs 11,300 crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank, linked to celebrity diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, that was detected last week. The shell companies, the Enforcement Directorate suspects, were being used to route funds, which were then parked as land, gold and gems under fake identities, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

Until Saturday, raids have been held at 73 locations across the country, in which assets worth Rs 5,674 crore have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate. On Sunday, the agency raided at least 45 premises, including jewellery showrooms and workshops, across 15 cities, reported PTI.

The list includes 10 places in Bengaluru, seven in Delhi, five each in Kolkata and Mumbai, four each in Chandigarh and Hyderabad, three each in Patna and Lucknow, two in Ahmedabad and one each in Chennai and Guwahati. The raids in Delhi were conducted at the outlets of diamond retailer Gitanjali at some of the posh malls in south and west Delhi, reported news agency IANS.

A police case has been filed against Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi's uncle and business partner, and three firms associated to him -- Geetanjali, Gili and Nakshatra.

At least two dozen properties under the anti-Money Laundering law will be attached by the Enforcement Directorate, reported PTI, quoting official sources. On Saturday, the I-T department attached nine bank accounts of Gitanjali Gems, Mehul Choksi and others. It also attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of Mr Modi, his family members and firms owned by them.

The 48-year-old diamond businessman -- who had figured in the Forbes' list of richest Indians - and his family fled India on January 1, long before the Central Bureau of Investigation could file any case against them.

Last week, Punjab National Bank said its officials at a branch in Mumbai had helped Nirav Modi and others get credit in violation of rules. The fraud was revealed when Nirav Modi's companies sought a fresh loan.

The CBI has already arrested three persons, including the 2 staffers of the Punjab National Bank, who have been sent to the judicial custody till March 3.


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