The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted 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 continued till Saturday — the officials seized high-end and antique jewellery valued at Rs 15 crore, expensive watches valued at Rs 1.40 crores and paintings worth approximately Rs 10 crores including those of artistes like MF Hussain, Hebbar and Amrita Shergil.
The searches were a part of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case registered against Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi by the ED in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. During the course of the investigation, 251 searches were conducted all over India. During these searches, diamond, gold, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones were seized.
Attachments of immovable properties belonging to Nirav Modi Group and Mehul Choksi Group have been provisionally attached. The total value of seizures and attachment is Rs 7,638 crore approx.
This comes days after Choksi refused to join the CBI probe into the PNB scam and 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.
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