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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday concluded its joint searches with CBI on the residential premises of billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi at Samudra Mahal, Worli in Mumbai. During the course of the search, which lasted for three days, the officials seized high-end and antique jewellery valued at Rs 15 crore, expensive watches valued at Rs 1.40 crore and paintings worth approximately Rs 10 crore including those of renowned artists such as MF Hussain, Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar and Amrita Shergil, sources said.
The searches, sources said were a part of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act case registered against Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi by the ED in the Rs 13,400 crore PNB fraud case. According to ED sources, at least 251 searches have been conducted all over India so far in the case . During these searches, diamond, gold, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones have been seized by the agency, which is currently being valued by government approved valuers. Apart from this the agency has also provisionally attached immovable properties belonging to Nirav Modi Group and Mehul Choksi Group The total value of seizures and attachment is about Rs 7,638 crore. Modi left India on January 1, while Choksi left the country on January 4. Both have refused to join the ED and the CBI probe into the PNB scam.
Earlier this month Choksi claimed that “untenable” allegations had resulted in “sudden closure” of his business and exposed him and his family to “threats” from former associates.
In his last letter to the CBI dated March 16, Choksi also cited his medical condition, suspended passport and media trial to decline the agency’s communication asking him to join the probe. The Indian government has revoked the passports of Modi and Choksi and the ED has obtained non-bailable arrest warrants against them.