The Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached assets worth Rs 147.72 crore of Nirav Modi and Firestar International Pvt Ltd, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The assets attached by the ED include the personal art collection of Nirav Modi which include paintings by eminent artists such as Amrita Sher-Gil and M F Hussain among others worth about Rs 50 crore, money payable to Firestar International by its debtors, jewellery of Modi’s firm that were in transit within India and a property owned by Modi.
The Income Tax department last year seized 173 paintings and artworks held by Modi during its search operations. The artworks include paintings of FN Souza, VS Gaitonde, SH Raza, Amrita Sher-Gil and Akbar Padamsee, sculptures from Italy and the US, Chinese artwork and masterpieces by Xu Lei and Zeng Xiaojun.
Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by Indian investigating agencies after PNB complained against their companies, saying it had been cheated of Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent issue of letters LoUs and foreign letters of credit (FLCs). Both left India in January, a few weeks before the scam came to light. While Nirav Modi is in the UK, Choksi has become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and is learnt to be residing there.
Modi has been accused of diverting over Rs 4,000 crore of the Rs 6,519 crore outstanding fraudulent LoU issued by PNB to his firms and family overseas.