In Nirav Modi Probe, Investigators To Ask 6 Countries For Info: 10 Points

The Enforcement Directorate is expected to move court seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

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Enforcement Directorate may seek non-bailable arrest warrants against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

New Delhi:  The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will issue letters rogatory to six countries to identify overseas businesses and assets of diamond trader Nirav Modi, accused in the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and who is absconding. Letters rogatory are documents that make a request for information through a foreign court. The Central Bureau of Investigation has meanwhile issued "look out circulars" against 10 senior executives from companies belonging to Nirav Modi and his uncle and promoter of Gitanjali gems Mehul Choksi. These executives too are suspected to have left the country, the CBI said.
Here is 10-point cheat sheet to this story:
  1. The Enforcement Directorate is expected to move court seeking non-bailable arrest warrants against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi after they failed to appear before the agency, which had summoned them on Monday. Both are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them.
  2. A special Mumbai court allowed the EC on Monday to send letters rogatory through the Union home ministry to Belgium, Hong Kong, Switzerland, US, UK, Dubai, Singapore and South Africa.
  3. The judicial requests for exchange of information are aimed at getting details of the overseas financial holdings of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and also details of their bank accounts, assets, partnerships, showrooms, trusts and other assets, officials said.
  4. These assets and their sources of income will be investigated and if necessary would be attached under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) if it is found that they have been created using tainted funds or the proceeds of crime from the alleged bank fraud, the officials said.
  5. The total assets seized by the ED in this case are over Rs 6,393 crore, officials have said, adding that this is being independently valued.
  6. Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others are being investigated by the ED and CBI after the Punjab National Bank alleged that they cheated it of Rs 11,400 crore with the involvement of a few bank employees.
  7. On Monday, the ED summoned PNB's Managing Director and CEO Sunil Mehta. The agency has also examined the state-owned bank's Executive Director KV Brahmaji Rao to understand how the fraud was detected and also banking procedures.
  8. Mr Mehta, officials said, will be asked similar questions when he meets ED officials this week. They emphasise that the two senior bank officials are not being examined as accused in case. The CBI had examined both officials last week.
  9. The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs or first information reports in the case. The CBI has so far arrested 12 persons in connection with the scam.
  10. The ED, a central probe agency under the Union finance ministry, is investigating whether the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.




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