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ED Seizes Diamonds, Jewellery, Gold Worth Rs 5100 Cr During Searches in Nirav Modi Case

ED officials landed at Firestar Diamond Pvt Ltd. head office in Bharat Diamond Bourse, in Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi's private office at Kohinoor City in Kurla West, his showroom and boutique at Itts House in Fort in south Mumbai and a workshop in Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel.

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Updated:February 15, 2018, 10:35 PM IST
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ED Seizes Diamonds, Jewellery, Gold Worth Rs 5100 Cr During Searches in Nirav Modi Case
ED on Thursday conducted searches at Modi's premises and business installations in connection with PNB fraud case. (Photo:News18)
Mumbai: A day after a massive $1.8 billion fraud was unearthed in a PNB branch in Mumbai, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi.

The CBI and the ED moved separate applications to the external affairs ministry seeking the revocation of passports of Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali jewellery chain, both accused in the fraud case the officials said.

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.

ED officials landed at Firestar Diamond Pvt Ltd. head office in Bharat Diamond Bourse, in Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi's private office at Kohinoor City in Kurla West, his showroom and boutique at Itts House in Fort in south Mumbai and a workshop in Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel.

In Gujarat, six diamond workshops were raided in Surat SEZ at Sachin town and an office in Belgium Towers on Ring Road, the hub of diamond jewellery trade.


Visuals of items seized by the Enforcement Directorate. The seized items included gold and diamonds and precious stones worth Rs 5,100 crore.

Two diamond jewellery boutiques of Modi in New Delhi - in Chanakyapuri and Defence Colony - were also raided.

The ED has also written to the Income Tax department for sharing all documents seized by it during raids on January last year from premises linked to Modi and his associates.

The ED filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a CBI FIR registered on January 31. The agency also went through the PNB complaint that was made out against Nirav Modi and others.

The ED, they said, would probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money

At least 10 bank employees have been suspended but it is not clear whether anybody from the crucial PNB Credit Approval Committee or its Board of Directors figure among them.

The fraud, which includes money-laundering among others, concerns the Firestar Diamonds group in which the CBI last week booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and a maternal uncle Mehul Choksi.

It followed a complaint lodged by PNB on January 29 pertaining to an alleged cheating case of Rs 280 crore perpetrated by these four in 2011.

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.

Modi, a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the CBI, along with wife, brother and Choksi on January 31, for allegedly cheating the state-run bank to the tune of Rs 280 crore.

Modi, who holds an Indian passport, left India on January 1, while his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, also left the country on same day. However, whether they travelled together has to be probed, they said. Modi's wife Ami, a US citizen, left on January 6 and his uncle Choksi departed on January 4, the officials said.

The latest case -- which involves a sum considerably higher than the Vijay Mallya default of around Rs 9,000 crore -- comes at a time when the Indian banking system is already grappling with swelling non-performing assets.

(With agency inputs)

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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