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ED attaches gems, bank deposits worth over Rs 253 cr of Nirav Modi group in Hong Kong


NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate Friday said it has attached gems, jewellery and bank deposits worth Rs 253.62 crore of some Hong Kong-based companies of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi as part of a money laundering probe.

Some assets of Nirav Modi group of companies in Hong Kong were identified in the form of gems and jewelleries lying in private vaults and bank balances in accounts maintained there and these have been provisionally attached under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the federal probe agency said in a statement.

The amount kept in banks amounts to USD 30.98 million and Hong Kong dollars 5.75 million, which is equivalent to Rs 253.62 crore (as on July 22, 2022), it said.

Nirav Modi, 51, is presently lodged in a UK jail and has lost his extradition plea to India in connection with the USD 2-billion PNB fraud case that is also being investigated by the CBI.

The ED said the extradition proceedings are at “final stage in London, UK.”

It said that with the latest attachment, the total seizure of assets against Nirav Modi stands at Rs 2,650.07 crore.

“Also, movable and immovable assets of Nirav Modi and his associates amounting to Rs 1,389 crore have been confiscated under provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 on the orders of a special court in Mumbai,” it said.

Some of the confiscated properties have already been physically handed over to victim banks, the agency added.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, both prime accused in the case, along with others are being probed by the ED on money laundering charges for allegedly perpetrating a fraud in connivance with bank officials and by issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) at the Brady House Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Mumbai.

He (Modi) was declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai PMLA court in December 2019. He was arrested the same year in London. (PTI)

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